DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — What a difference one year makes for the Duke football program.
Last year at this time, the Blue Devils were scrambling just to get lined up at practice.
“Now everything is in much better detail,” second-year head coach Mike Elko said. “Now it’s all about how we do things, how we run plays, how we run routes, how we cover and techniques. We are able to get into so much more detail in everything we’re trying to do and that’s the beauty of year two.”
The Blue Devils are hoping year two is much like year one of the Elko era.
Duke turned heads by going 9-4 while winning the Military Bowl over the University of Central Florida.
Despite returning 18 starters, the Blue Devils know there is still work to be done when it comes to the perception of Duke football.
“It’s no secret that everyone still doesn’t believe in us,” graduate nose guard Ja’Mion Franklin believes. “And we have a bad taste in our mouth from all the games we let slide by. In our eyes we felt like we should have run the table and went undefeated.”
Franklin continued, “We’re not shying away from anybody, we’re not shying away from the task at hand. That’s what we’re about his season, going in and attacking what was our weakness and just proving to everybody that it wasn’t a fluke and Duke football is here to stay.”
Additionally, former Corinth Holders star Jacob Monk, like Franklin, is one of a handful of players who chose to come back and play one more season when they could have moved on from football.
“I didn’t know it would take this long,” Monk, a fifth-year senior, said. “That was always my goal from day one, and even before I got here was to have a winning program and now that it’s here, I don’t want it to ever to back to what it was before.”
Year two of the Elko era will have a lot to say about that.