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Sports

Wolfpack, Blue Devils Take To The Gridiron This Weekend

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The Duke Blue Devils return to the gridiron Saturday after an open date last weekend.  The Naval Academy will come to Durham for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Wallace Wade Stadium. 

Last week it appeared this contest may have been in doubt.  The Midshipmen faced the possibility of canceling their appearance because of the ongoing government shutdown.  Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said Navy kept Duke in the loop on their travel plans.

"They're great people as you might imagine and so they did a great job of communicating with us.  We never felt the game was in any kind of jeopardy," says Cutcliffe.

Duke will have to contend with a Navy option attack that averages nearly 300 rushing yards per game.   Cutcliffe says his team had difficulty with a similar scheme earlier this season in a 38-14 loss to Georgia Tech.

N.C. State is looking to bounce back after last weekend's 28-13 loss at Wake Forest.  The Wolfpack welcome new A-C-C member Syracuse to Raleigh Saturday.  N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren says he has been pleased at times with his team's play, but a rash of bumps and bruises to key players has affected the Wolfpack's cohesiveness on the field.

"Any great team I've been on, it's that continuity where you can grow as a football team and unfortunately for us we haven't had a lot of position groups that have had the same lineups every week due to injuries," Doeren says.

With two losses already this season in conference play, Doeren says a complete effort will be needed against the Orange to get back on the winning track.  Kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium is at 3:30 p.m.

North Carolina and Wake Forest are idle this weekend.

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