DURHAM – Duke is set to make its 15th bowl appearance when it faces off against UCF on Wednesday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Wednesday will mark the first meeting on the gridiron between these two programs. They do have two familiar foes from the 2022 regular season schedule in Georgia Tech and Temple. The Blue Devils went 1-1 against those opponents, while the Knights finished 2-0.
The Blue Devils have won three-straight bowl games, which entered the bowl season tied for the 10th longest active streak nationally. Among ACC teams, only Syracuse has a longer active streak at four wins.
Duke head coach Mike Elko and nine Blue Devils were honored with ACC recognition at the conclusion of the regular season. Elko was tabbed the league’s Coach of the Year, joining Bill Murray (1954, 1960, 1962), Steve Spurrier (1988, 1989), Fred Goldsmith (1994), and David Cutcliffe (2012, 2013) as the Duke coaches to receive the honor. Elko was later tabbed a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award and a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award.
Wednesday’s ESPN broadcast will feature Kevin Brown, Hutson Mason, and Marilyn Payne on the call. The game can also be heard on the Blue Devil Sports Network from LEARFIELD through the Varsity app or goduke.com.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Duke (8-4, 5-3 ACC) vs. UCF (9-4, 6-2 AAC)
Wednesday, December 28, 2022 • 2:00 p.m.
Annapolis, Md. • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)
TELEVISION • ESPN
RADIO • Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD
GAME NOTES • Duke Notes (PDF) • UCF Notes (PDF)
LIVE STATS • Military Bowl
TWITTER • @DukeFOOTBALL
Duke has recorded 200-plus rushing yards on six different occasions this year and ranks third in the ACC and 39th nationally with 184.75 ground yards per contest.
Duke and Florida State are the only two teams in the ACC to be averaging 184.00-plus rushing and 235.00-plus passing yards per game on the season.
This season, sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard is 231-of-364 (.635) passing for 2,794 yards with 20 touchdowns and has rushed 114 times for 636 yards with 11 scores. For that effort he ranks third in the ACC in total offense (285.83), trailing North Carolina’s Drake Maye (366.77) and Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman (321.36). In addition, he is one of three quarterbacks nationally with 11-plus rushing and 20-plus passing scores on the year, joining Oregon’s Bo Nix and UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Leonard became the first player in Duke history with 10-plus rushing and 20-passing scores in a single season.
Senior wide receiver Jalon Calhoun is 189 receiving yards shy of reaching 1,000 on the year. He would become the 10th Blue Devil to achieve the feat and first since current Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jamison Crowder did so in 2014 with 1,044. Calhoun has 197 career receptions and 2,298 receiving yards to his name to rank fifth and ninth in program history, respectively.
Heading into Wednesday’s game with UCF, Duke has played at the United States Naval Academy’s stadium 10 previous times. The Blue Devils are 4-6 in those matchups and all came against Navy.
Duke’s single-game record for pass completion percentage was set in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. On October 30, 2010, Sean Renfree completed 28-of-30 (.933) pass attempts to establish the new Blue Devil standard as Duke defeated Navy, 34-31. The previous record of .852 (23-of-27) was set by Spence Fischer on October 1, 1994 against Navy – also at Navy-Marine-Corps Memorial Stadium.
The Duke men’s lacrosse program has enjoyed postseason success at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, winning three NCAA Tournament quarterfinal games in 2007 (19-11 over North Carolina), 2009 (12-11 over North Carolina) and 2018 (14-9 over Johns Hopkins).
With a win on Wednesday, the Blue Devils will register their most wins in a season since 2014 when they finished 9-4. It will also mark just the seventh time in program history a Duke team finishes with nine-plus wins in a single-season.
REGULAR SEASON FINISH
The last time Duke played a regular season and did not lose at least one game by 10-plus points was 1953. That team went 7-2-1 with losses to Army (14-13) and Georgia Tech (13-10).
Duke is 6-0 this season when scoring first. In five of those six games, the Blue Devils registered a touchdown to begin the scoring and four were on their opening drive.
Over the last 10 years, Duke holds a 29-7 (.806) regular season and 32-9 (.780) overall record against non-conference opponents. In its last 25 non-conference games, Duke is 19-6 (.760).
MARGIN OF DEFEAT
Duke has four losses on the year by a combined 16 points. Of the 12 Power 5 schools with four losses, the Blue Devils’ 16-point margin is the lowest. Duke is followed by Texas (18), Illinois (20), Notre Dame (29) and N.C. State (41).
The Blue Devils have produced 14 scoring drives of 10-plus plays this season, after recording two (11-43 yards and 10-60 yards) against Wake Forest during their last outing.
TWO PLAYERS WITH 700+ RECEIVING YARDS
A season ago, WRs Jalon Calhoun and Jake Bobo teamed up to become the eighth duo in program history to achieve 700-plus receiving yards in a single-season. This year, Calhoun is on track to achieve the mark again but this time with fellow wide out Jordan Moore. Calhoun has 811 receiving yards on the season, while Jo. Moore is 57 yards shy of 700 and sits with 643 on the year.
COUNTING ON CALHOUN
Senior WR Jalon Calhoun leads the Blue Devils with 811 yards on 56 receptions through Duke’s 12 games. He is currently seventh in the conference in receiving yards and receptions, eighth in receiving yards per game (67.58), and ninth in receptions per game (4.67).
Of his 56 receptions on the year, 34 have gone for a first down and 16 have covered 20-plus yards.
The Greenville, S.C., native is the first player to register 700 yards receiving in back-to-back seasons since T.J. Rahming did so in 2017 (795) and 2018 (811). Calhoun compiled 718 yards just a year ago.
Through 12 games, the Blue Devils have registered 51 total touchdowns to rank fifth in the conference. That total is the most since Duke recorded 51 in 2018. The Blue Devils need one touchdown to match the total from 2014 (52) and nine to tie the program record of 60 set in 2013.
Duke’s 48 offensive touchdowns are also the most since 2018 when it recorded 50.
LEAVING A MARK
Riley Leonard is just 206 yards away from 3,000 passing yards on the season. He would become the fifth player in program history to achieve the feat.
Duke QBs with 3K Passing Yards in Single-Season
Name Year Yards
1. Anthony Dilweg 1988 3,824
2. Thaddeus Lewis 2009 3,330
3. Sean Renfree 2010 3,131
4. Sean Renfree 2012 3,113
5. Ben Bennett 1983 3,086
6. Ben Bennett 1982 3,033
Duke as a team is 163 passing yards away from reaching 3,000 for the 12th time in program history — 2018 (3,199), 2015 (3,204), 2013 (3,474), 2012 (3,691), 2011 (3,266), 2010 (3,256), 2009 (3,660), 1989 (3,553), 1988 (3,868), 1987 (3,443), and 1982 (3,349).
LIMIT THE SCORING
In 2021, the Blue Devils finished last in the ACC in scoring defense (39.8) and 127th nationally. This season, they rank sixth in the ACC and tied for 36th nationally in scoring defense, limiting their opponents to just 22.83 points per game.
FOURTH DOWN DEFENSE
The Blue Devil fourth down defense has limited opponents to just 9-of-22 conversions for a .409 percentage. That mark ranks fifth in the league, which is up from their .692 percent mark in 2021 (9-of-13).
RACKING UP THE SACKS
Over Duke’s last six games, it has recorded 20 of its 30 total sacks on the year. The Blue Devils currently rank tied for seventh in the ACC in sacks and compiled a season-best six against Miami on Oct. 22. Redshirt junior DT DeWayne Carter and sophomore DB Brandon Johnson lead the team with 5.5 sacks on the year, followed by redshirt junior DE R.J. Oben with 3.5.
Johnson is 0.5 sacks away from breaking into Duke’s top-15 for a single-season. He would be the only defensive back on the list.
STAND YOUR GROUND
Duke has nine players with 40-plus tackles on the year, led by redshirt senior Shaka Heyward (93), graduate student Darius Joiner (90), and junior Jaylen Stinson (69). The trio make Duke one of three schools in the ACC with at least three student-athletes with 69-plus tackles on the year (Boston College and N.C. State).
The Blue Devils have held opponents to just 74 punt return yards on the season. An average of just 5.7 yards per return. The longest return Duke allowed was a 16-yarder against Kansas.
PATs and FGs
The Blue Devils kicking unit comprised of Charlie Ham and Todd Pelino have converted on all 49 of their PAT attempts. That mark ranks Duke fifth in the ACC for total PATs.
COURTESY DUKE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS