Mark Bergin, a senior producer at WRAL, works on multiple platforms.
Reworded: The sports team known as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
|Duke Blue Devils
ESPN | Thursday, November 2nd at 7:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Duke’s football team is aiming to bounce back this week with a shortened schedule following two consecutive losses.
The Duke University football team will be playing against Wake Forest University on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
The team under Duke’s head coach, Mike Elko, has had three days to get ready for their game against Wake Forest.
Elko stated on Tuesday that there is limited opportunity for physical activity this week.
Duke’s back-to-back defeats have resulted in their removal from the AP Top 25 rankings. The team was defeated 23-0 by Louisville and 38-20 by Florida State.
Elko expressed that our main issue was our complete lack of functionality on all levels. We failed to block effectively and missed our targets in the run game. Our performance was hindered by an excessive amount of penalties, causing us to struggle to maintain a consistent schedule. Additionally, we were once again inefficient in the passing game at every level.
“When facing difficulties, I believe the key is to have faith in yourself and your actions, simplify things, focus on the basics, and strive for improvement.”
Elko stated that, prior to the 2023 season, he had never experienced having limited time to prepare his team while coaching in college football. The Blue Devils faced a similar situation after defeating Clemson on Labor Day and then having to face Lafayette on Sept. 9 with a shortened week.
“I believe it presents a significant difficulty,” Elko commented on the shortened week. “In my 23 years of coaching, this is the first instance in which I have encountered this situation, and having to do it twice in one year makes it an immense challenge.”
Elko reported that a few players, such as quarterback Riley Leonard and offensive linemen Jacob Monk and Graham Barton, were dealing with injuries on a day-to-day basis.
Elko stated that Leonard, Monk, and Barton would be making last-minute decisions on whether they would be participating in Thursday’s game.
Leonard threw for 121 yards and completed nine out of 23 passes during the game against Louisville, but he also had an interception. He first injured his ankle during the Sept. 30 game against Notre Dame and aggravated it again during the Oct. 21 game against Florida State, after sitting out the game against NC State.