After Duke’s 58-55 gut-wrenching loss to a very beatable Pitt team, many are wondering if the Blue Devils 2-2 are teetering on the brink.
Duke fans have obviously seen their fair share of gut-wrenching losses and quiet a few in the David Cutcliffe, where it almost feels that if the Blue Devils are going to lose they are going to either get blown out or lose a close game. Duke has dropped 16 games that have been decided by one score or less.
Cutcliffe who has an overall record of 23-42 at Duke could just as easily be 39-26 instead had his teams been able to find a way to execute and finish off some games.
The loss to Pitt on Saturday was another one of those games, that had Duke gotten a stop here or a first down there, or avoid a costly turnover, then they could have possibly come out on top in that game. Its something that Cutcliffe isn’t frustrated about but is disappointed with.
“I’m far from frustrated. I’m disappointed, I’m hurt for our squad. You make tough decisions. You just have to make decisions and move forward. Its not for the weak,” Cutcliffe said.
The decision for Duke fans, those who are actually following Duke Football with at least some modicum of interest, is should they still care, should they still show up. Even if they are still showing up in small numbers to see a 2-2 team that is struggling to try and find enough wins in an increasingly more difficult schedule to just make it to 6 wins and bowl eligibility.
For Cutcliffe the answer would be easy because he knows his team is working hard, he knows they have to improve but he also knows there is no quit in this team and everyone in attendance saw that against Pitt.
“I can promise you we’re not going away. This team is not about to go away. We’ve got too many things to build on. And unfortunately too many things to correct, but they’re correctable and we can approach things that way,” Cutcliffe said.
“I like this team I’ve liked this team since January I’m not going to change my tune. We can’t work harder. This team works hard at practice. There’s not a lot of me people around this program. Every team is a little different and you have to stir it until you find the right mix of what we are trying to accomplish out there.”
Whether they can start to get that right mix together in time to find enough wins to make a second straight bowl appearance, the first time in school history, remains to be seen. However, there should be no doubt the kind of fight that this team has, like the talent out matches anything this program has seen in decades.
“I am happy with the resiliency and I’m proud. We also wouldn’t have been able to come back. We (didn’t) have good players. We got people that can make plays on both sides of the ball. We’ve just got to find ways to make that occur on a consistent basis.”