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Duke Football almost had their first ever win against FSU

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2023 3:22 pm

Duke Football almost had their first ever win against FSU

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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October 24, 2023 3:22 pm

Dave Harding, Duke Football Radio Analyst, on their loss to FSU and how close it was on Saturday.

Was it a bad call to put Riley Leonard in during that game against FSU? What happened during the game that looked good for Duke and vice versa? Which are must wins for them coming up? Does Dave anticipate to see Riley play in those?


Saturday night, the Duke Blue Devils were this close to maybe putting their feet on the necks of Florida State, of fourth-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee.

They couldn't get it in the end zone. They allowed Florida State to drive, I think it was, 96 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. And then, that was like the floodgates opening, because once Florida State had the lead, Duke was kind of cooked. And they were without Riley Leonard.

My friend Dave Harding, Duke Radio Network, Blue Devil Network joins us on the Adam Gold Show. All right, sir, you were there, Doke, where Florida State has won national championships and put player after player after player after player in the NFL. And when you got to the fourth quarter and it was 20 to 17, what was running through your mind? Duke had a chance, and it was a position the Blue Devils have not been in really ever against Florida State.

The Blue Devils have never beaten the Seminoles in the series history. And so, you know, you got them on the ropes. You'd weathered the storm, so to speak.

It was a rockin' atmosphere. And unfortunately, the Blue Devils were not able to close it out. But they had done everything they needed to through three quarters to put yourself in a position to at least have a crack at it.

It's funny, I'm not even sure they've had the lead like in the last 20-some-odd years. Like, yeah, like to not like score first, kick a field goal, nothing. That was what was so remarkable. But I thought, especially in the beginning of the game, the way their defense stuffed Florida State. Seminoles really couldn't run the ball. I thought their defense was so good. I thought that caught Florida State by surprise, although I'm not sure why it would catch anybody by surprise unless you haven't been watching.

But that was an opportunity there. And I go back to the Notre Dame game, how things are different. And I hate to play this game if they just stop Sam Hartman and Riley Leonard is healthy. You and I talked before the game. I wouldn't have played Riley.

Why do you think they did? I think you kind of had to when clearly the medical staff cleared them at some point leading up to the game. Obviously, Riley wanted to play and he certainly gives you the best shot at winning. And I think if you're Mike Elko, you know, you're considering what your locker room wants, what your star quarterback wants. And, you know, given the way that your defense is playing, the way Blue Devils have competed against some of the better teams in the country to that point, that you have a shot, even though maybe Vegas doesn't give you a shot or other people, you know, you have a chance at winning. And if you're able to pick up that game and close it out in the fourth quarter, the way we were just talking how the Blue Devils were so close, you are, you know, cleared clearly leading in the clubhouse from an ACC run perspective and put yourself with a little bit of wiggle room as you close out this ACC stretch at the Blue Devils have kind of a grueling stretch. So I think with all of those things kind of paired together, you need to roll them out there. I also think and again, I'm no medical expert, but I've struggled with an ankle during my playing days.

Right. And even a year after I tweaked my ankle, I was still having some residual effects. So I don't know if if Riley this year will ever feel 100 percent.

So at what point are you waiting for him to get back to, you know, you always run the risk of of the injury. And unfortunately, it happened at a really critical time for Duke. And I guess if you're a Duke fan, really anybody but a Louisville fan at this point, perhaps you're you're hoping that Ryan Leonard is good to go for this Saturday.

And because he clearly is the big X factor for the Blue Devil offense. Here's the defense. We kind of know the offense has had some passing issues. I mean, when they completed 18, I think passes the past two weeks. So you need Riley Leonard out there to be your best. And they completed just like seven right against Florida State. Riley was like six of 17. And Henry was, I think, completed one pass.

Here's the thing. With no with no real passing threat and knowing that Riley Leonard couldn't run it, Duke was still effective enough on the ground. They were still able to move the chains, which is kind of remarkable to me because Henry Beelen does give them a little bit more juice, at least did. Theoretically, I guess in the past game, although it was hard to prove that based on statistical data, I just is. Is it enough to just have the threat that Riley Leonard might just remember what he's great at, which is being an elusive runner and that that would be enough? Because I couldn't believe they were able to run the ball without the threat of Riley.

I think it is enough just to have the threat. I mean, we did see one occasion in the game. It was a second and long, I believe. The Blue Devils were kind of backed up. Riley kind of did a Riley thing and ran off the right side, improvised a little bit and got it to a third down and manageable that the Blue Devils were then able to convert. His elusiveness, the sack avoidance, all of those things definitely change the demeanor of a defense. And you've got to make sure that you're containing him.

Even if he's a little bit hobbled. So, yeah, I also think, though, Adam, one thing we've learned and we just talked about how good the Duke defense is, this is a legitimate rushing attack for the Blue Devils offense. As you said, Florida State, a very good defensive unit the week before NC State as well, especially when it comes to stopping the run, they are built to take away that run threat. And the Blue Devil offensive line and running backs continue to have an effective attack. And it's partially because of physicality and distorting the defense. But I think Jacquez Moore and Jordan Moore, two of the best running backs in the country, especially as a tandem.

When you think about what each of them has from a strength perspective, Waters, sorry, Jordan Waters. Jordan Waters is much more of a, you know, the power back and then Jacquez Moore is kind of the speedster and he ran away from the entire Florida State defense for 42 yards on the opening drive. That was a heck of a touchdown run, man. At first look, I'm like, well, I think he might have been out of bounds before, but he managed to keep his whole body from touching out of bounds before he hit the pylon.

That was an incredible run. By the way, Jordan Waters is a friend of the program and is a big fan of eating at McDonald's. I don't know if you knew this, but it is one of his one of his favorite things. Also doesn't watch any football. With SOTIC-2 for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, you could show off your skin again.

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Call 1-888-SOTYK-T-U to learn more. 2 losses. They're not out of it. But they probably are not probably they've got to win out to make it to Charlotte. But I think I think they can win every game they've got left. They've only got one loss in conference.

The other was that non-con loss. And yeah, I mean, this does feel kind of like a must win game if they want to play in Charlotte, just with the way that, you know, doing away with divisions. Louisville right now has been playing well. Obviously, they slipped up before the bye week.

They were open last week. But against Pittsburgh with some turnovers, their path, say they're able to knock off Duke, their path to kind of a perfect finish is a little bit easier than the Blue Devils with just who they have remaining on their schedule. Duke still has to go to Chapel Hill. You know, you're hosting Wake Forest. You got to go on another road trip up to Virginia.

So there are a few games that still loom large. Pittsburgh to close the year where Duke hasn't had great success against the Panthers over the years. So a tough still remainder of the season.

You got to handle this week first. And, you know, you asked, do I expect right out of the play? Mike Elko's line, as it has been the past couple of weeks, is he's day to day, shockingly. But, you know, I think you can kind of look at what he looked like on the sideline. After the game against Florida State, he was certainly trying to make a case for getting back into the game. So I don't know.

Your guess is as good as mine. Either way, I think the big thing for the Blue Devils this week is going to be finding a way to run the ball against a Louisville team that's only giving up on average like 90 yards a game on the ground. So, again, you find yourself in another top 25 matchup, which I think that's the fourth or fifth one for the Blue Devils this season, and then another stingy defense on the ground. So you've got to find either an ability to run the ball against them or open up your passing game, which Duke has been a little sluggish in over the past couple of weeks. And then defensively, finally going against more of a pro style quarterback that Jordan Travis was in position to be sacked a few times on Saturday night. I thought the Duke defensive line did a good job of providing and applying some pressure, and he finds a way out.

So this week you've got somebody that likes to stay in the pocket a little bit longer. Maybe you've got a chance to apply some heat and win the turnover margin. But definitely feels when you think about Duke's path to getting to Charlotte, which I think they are an ACC championship level team just with what we saw. I mean, if Riley Leonard's healthy, they've got a great shot of winning the game on Saturday night. They've got to beat Louisville and it's going to be tough.

Yeah. So if the mission is to beat Louisville, if Riley Leonard is as convincing as he obviously is, I think he'll be under center. I'm nervous for him because it's hard to protect yourself when you're you're just not your normal self.

And he is not Dave Harding. You are your normal self. And I appreciate your time, man. I'll talk to you very soon.

Sounds good. I don't know if that's a good or bad. No, it's a great. What do you mean? Is it a good or bad?

It's a great book. OK, handsome. Handsome as you are. You were exceptional today. I'll say that. Oh, gosh. Go away, Dave. Parting exceptional today. I'm I'm barely making it move today. Whatever that whatever that means.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-24 17:36:54 / 2023-10-24 17:42:17 / 5

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