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Other than that, there aren’t many conclusions to be drawn from Saturday’s 31-3 victory over Virginia—just more questions.
The Blue Devils have quietly managed to climb out of the ACC cellar, but have done so by stepping on the piled carcasses of inferior and failing programs. They picked up their first conference win in 26 tries Saturday, but left the defense to do the heavy lifting while Thaddeus Lewis and the rest of the Duke offense again struggled through the first half. Final stats show that Duke was outperformed in nearly every quantifiable aspect of the game, and before Michael Tauiliili and the rest of the Blue Devil defense harassed Cavalier Quarterback Marc Verica into a second half meltdown, the outcome could have gone either way. And yet Duke won, convincingly.
“We made a lot of mistakes that good teams don’t make,” said David Cutcliffe at the post-game press conference, “But I’m extremely proud of our guys for doing what they needed to do to win.”
So, the Blue Devils are no longer a doormat, but are they any good?
The truth won’t begin to shake out until next week as Duke continues its long march through conference play which, N.C. State notwithstanding, sees them pitted against the class of the ACC.