Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 15, 2019 at 7:29 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Syracuse (3-6, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) visits Durham, North Carolina for a 4 p.m. kickoff with conference foe Duke (4-5, 2-3). The Orange and Blue Devils have barely played in the history of the two programs, with three matchups ever and the last coming in 2014. If Syracuse is to make a bowl, Duke is the first of three teams — Louisville and Wake Forest — that SU must beat in order to become bowl eligible. Here’s everything to know about the Blue Devils, the Orange’s first stop on their must-win path to the postseason.Gambling Odds: As of Friday night, Duke is a 10.5-point favorite, with a total of 54, per Pinnacle.All-time series: Duke leads, 3-0.The last time they played: The Blue Devils triumphed over the Orange, 27-10, in the Carrier Dome in 2014. It was the two teams’ first meeting in the modern era — the first two came prior to World War II, in 1938-39 — and first as conference opponents. Syracuse, hamstrung by injury, played reserve quarterbacks Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble and could only muster 10 points while Duke got two touchdowns from wideout Issac Blakeney and a punt return touchdown from Jamison Crowder. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Duke report: The Blue Devils feature dual-threat quarterback Quentin Harris at the helm of their offense. Syracuse defensive tackle Kenneth Ruff said film on Harris brought him flashbacks of Lamar Jackson in 2016. While Harris might not be Heisman-caliber, he’s certainly going to pose a problem for a Syracuse defense that’s prone to biting on play-fakes and getting fooled by run-pass options. To date, Harris is the Blue Devils second-leading rusher behind running back Deon Jackson. He leads the team with 224.4 yards per game and has had a hand in 20 of Duke’s 30 touchdowns this season.Currently, the Blue Devils are sliding, losers of four of their last five. Harris is the best bet to get back in the win column at home.How Syracuse wins: Limit Harris’ ability to run and establish your own run game. Coming off the idle week, a rested and coached up offensive line and some clever play calling could get SU’s running attack going against a relatively soft Blue Devils front. The Orange have barely run the ball consistently this season, but if they can use Moe Neal, Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard — Tommy DeVito, too? — effectively and get going down hill, they can hopefully open up the rest of the offense.The defense is, by far, Syracuse’s biggest question mark coming into this game after Dino Babers fired defensive coordinator Brian Ward. What will interim coordinator and former defensive ends coach Steve Stanard have cooked up? Players spoke all week of increased effort and Babers on Monday said he wanted to see “something different.” Whatever it might be from Stanard and the defense, it’ll likely center around erasing Harris’ ability to escape the pocket and make the defense pay on the ground. If they can contain him, it’ll force Duke to look outside the box to move the ball.Player to watch: Harris, redshirt senior quarterback, No. 18The Blue Devils successor to Daniel Jones — the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft — has put together an impressive campaign running and throwing the football. Besides accounting for two-third of Duke’s touchdowns, Harris has completed his passes at a 60.6% rate and rushed for more than 400 yards to date.  Commentslast_img read more

Griffin’s 31 points, Jordan’s 23 rebounds lead Clippers past pesky Pacers

first_imgThe Clippers (18-7) led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, and led 78-72 after three quarters. Indiana came back to lead 89-83 with 7:37 to play and 93-88 with 5:36 left. But the Pacers (8-18) went scoreless for nearly four minutes and the Clippers emerged victorious.Trailing 93-92, Jordan made two clutch free throws with 3:34 to play and then Paul hit a 15-footer for a 96-93 lead. The Clippers never trailed again.But again, Indiana did not go quietly. C.J. Watson, who was fouled by J.J. Redick with 34.9 seconds to play, made three free throws to get his team within 99-98.After Watson’s free throws, the Clippers turned the ball over when Paul and Griffin couldn’t connect on a pass from Paul in the paint. Rodney Stuckey then missed a shot that would have put the Pacers ahead. Redick was fouled and made two free throws with 15.8 seconds left for a 101-98 Clippers lead.Watson made a layup and Redick made one of two free throws for the game’s final point with two seconds left. C.J. Miles missed a prayer of a 30-footer at the buzzer that could have won the game for Indiana. Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 31 points and 16 rebounds, Chris Paul had 20 points and nine assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 15 points and grabbed 23 rebounds and Redick scored 16.West and Miles scored 17 points apiece for Indiana. West also had 10 rebounds. Lavoy Sloan, who scored 12 points off the bench, led the Pacers with 14 rebounds.Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his team “didn’t play great,” but he praised the Pacers.“They played hard,” Rivers said. “I think that’s what they’ve done. Frank’s done an amazing job under extreme circumstances.”The Clippers shot 43.6 percent from the field. Griffin shot 11 of 27. He admitted his team was fortunate to come away with the victory.“We made a lot of bad mistakes down the stretch,” he said. “I missed free throws; a lot of things that are uncharacteristic for us. But we got the win. That’s all that matters.”Griffin was 9 of 13 from the free-throw line, but he missed two in the final 2:35.Even though his team struggled to put away a team that likely won’t even make the playoffs, Rivers liked that when the chips were down, his team came through on defense.“You know what I loved was they got up and we needed stops and I think from the 5:30 to the 1-minute mark, they scored zero points and that’s the great sign of a team, when you’re not playing well and all of a sudden you can go on the defensive front,” he said. “And that’s what we did. We just got stops in a row.”Jordan, who was a beast on the boards and blocked two shots, concurred.“It was us strapping up at the end and getting stops,” said Jordan, who was 7 of 15 from the free-throw line. “Ultimately, that is what it came down to, us getting stops and executing. We had some foolish mistakes, like fouling on a 3, but things like that happen in a game. We just have to refocus.” A season ago, the Indiana Pacers had the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference at 56-26. But no thanks to major injuries, the Pacers entered their game Wednesday against the Clippers with a record of 8-17. They are 11th in the conference standings.Forward Paul George averaged 21.7 points in 2013-14, but he’s been out all season with a broken leg. Point guard George Hill (knee/quadriceps) also has not played and power forward David West had appeared in only 10 games before Wednesday.“Yeah, it’s been tough, no doubt about it,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said prior to tip-off. “No fun losing. We are hoping that the way we started is not how we’re going to finish the season, and how the season is going to be defined.”It wasn’t easy, but the Clippers put another loss on Indiana, just barely beating the hard-playing Pacers 102-100 before a sellout crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more