Mike Elko worked some magic with Duke football last season.
No one expected much from the Blue Devils but they ended up going 9-4 with a Military Bowl win over UCF. The former Texas A&M defensive coordinator turned the program around in just one season and made fans forget the glory days of David Cutcliffe.
Duke won nine games for the first time since 2014 and Elko quickly won over the fanbase that was ready to move on strictly to basketball again.
The Blue Devils were above average in scoring offense as well as scoring defense last season and they’ll bring back Riley Leonard at quarterback as well as its top four receivers that all finished with over 300 yards last season. The offense should be much better next season with everyone returning and the defense returns quite a bit while bringing in some transfers.
What should we expect from Duke next season?
Realistic expectations for Duke football in 2023
With Duke bringing back key players on both sides of the ball, supplementing a decent first recruiting class (not great) for Elko’s first group along with seven transfers, I can see the Blue Devils having similar success in 2023.
Looking at the schedule, I can see Duke playing a competitive opener against Clemson, but losing before reeling off three straight wins and then putting up a strong fight against Notre Dame the following week. After a bye, the Blue Devils will beat NC State before losing at Florida State and stealing a win at Louisville. They’ll win three of their last four games of the season.
Realistically, I can see Duke finishing the season 8-4 with a ceiling of 9-3 and a floor of 7-5. Either way, this team should be more than competitive in the ACC.