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16Football 1984September 13, 1984
Duke must find a defense n
By SCOTT SMITH
If pure entertaining football
could win conference champion
ships, Duke would always be near
the top. The Blue Devils have
always been a fun team to watch,
with a wide-open passing attack.
But while their offense has
always put a lot of points on the
scoreboard, a weak tiefense has
usually allowed more points than
the offense could muster. Over the
past decade, the Blue Devils have
come up on the short end of a 53-
42 score too many times.
Much of the same can be
expected in 4. Second-year coach
Steve Sloan reflects much of those
"I think we will be exciting, but
still a marginal football team," he
said. "That means we should be
able to play a lot of close games."
Duke graduated many key
' offensive players last spring. The
likes of all-time NCAA passing
champ Ben Bennett, wide reciever
Mark Militello, Bennett's favorite
target, and all-ACC center Phil
Ebinger will be missed at Wallace
Wade Stadium. But Sloan doesn't
seem to be too concerned.
"Offensively the key will be
replacing key people," Sloan said.
"I think our young players can
develop into a good offensive
One reason for Sloan's lack of
concern is a healthy quarterback
situation. Even without Bennett,
there is plenty of experience. Most
of that experience comes from
fifth-year senior Ron Sally, who
split time with Bennett in 1981.
Sally threw for 888 yards in 1,
but found playing time scarce
behind Bennett in 2 and '83.
Sally says he almost gave up on
football last year, but wanted to
come back and prove he can be
a major college quarterback. He
decided to take advantage of an
extra year of eligibility due to a
redshirt season earlier in his career.
But Sally might not get that
chance. Sophomore Drew Wal
ston, highly regarded by Sloan,
hurt his chances for the starting
job when he injured .his shoulder
in the final week of spring practice,
but came in and won the job this
The offensive backfield also
looks solid. Although diminutive
Mike Grayson has graduated,
junior Julius Grantham is more
than capable of replacing him.
Grantham averaged 5.5 yards a
carry last year for 556 yards while
alternating with Grayson at tail
back. Grantham is backed up by
senior speedster Mike Atkinson
and talented sophomore Mike
Peacock. Senior Scott Sime takes
over at fullback.
Duke will continue its tradition
of talented receivers. Tight end
Scott Russell, who had 47 catches
to lead the team last year, heads
up a fine cast.
The wide receivers are led by
senior Gary Frederick, who had
five TDs to go along with his 15
catches last year. Juniors Chuck
Herring and Greg Flanagan and
sophomore Doug Green all saw
considerable action last year, so
the Blue Devils are deep in the
The offensive line should be
young, but experienced." Junior
Ted Million (6-5, 265) andf senior
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With Ben Bennett out, Duke must find a new offense
Justin Beckett (6-3, 280) head up
a solid group. The twin brother
tandem of Mike and Mark Hig
genbotham (both 6-3, 250) take
over at guard. Sophomore Paul
Constantino (6-2, 245) will be the
Duke, in recent years known for
a pro-style passing attack, may try
something a little different this
year on offense.
"We may go out and roll out,
playing an action type of attack
this season," Sloan said.
While Sloan isn't too worried
about the offense, it's a different
story on defense. Last year the
Blue Devil defense allowed 435
yards in offense per game and a
school record 350 points.
"I view our defensive improve
ment as most important," Sloan
said. "Our biggest concern is
playing defense on a higher level.
We have to develop consistency
and the big play."
The defense had a 4-3 alignment
last year, but this season will
switch to a 4-4. Sloan said mifch
of the reason for the change is to
benefit his younger players.
"Since weVe recruited a lot of
young defensive players, we think
this will help them learn our
system and stop the run," he said.
The Blue Devil front four will
consist of junior tackles Murray
Youmans (6-1, 245) and Reggie
Andrews (6-0, 240). The ends will
,be-manned by Harry Ward (6-2,
235) and David Adams (6-4, 245).
is5The linebacker position should
be a Duke strength, with all four
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
1983 record: 3-8
Coach: Steve Sloan
Home field: Wallace Wade
Offense(4): TE Scott Russell,
WR Gary Frederick, OT Ted
Million, OT Justin Beckett.
Specialists: PK Ken Harper, P
Defense(8): DT Murray
Youmans, DT Reggie Andrews,
LB Nick Buoniconti, LB Ralph
Alderman, LB Pete Stubbs, LB
Mike Junkin, CB Joby Branion,
CB Darryl Brunson.
Forecast: With only four
home games and challenging
schedule, this young team will
have a tough time bettering last
year's 3-8 mark. Again, the Blue
Devils will generate enough
offensive excitement to be
worth the price of admission,
but the wins will be few and far
between. Prediction: Seventh
starters coming back. That con
tingent is led by junior Nick
Buoniconti, who at 5-10, 178 led
the team in tackles last season, not
to mention heart. If that name
sounds familiar, it should. His dad
of the same name was an all-pro
with the Miami Dolphins during
their Super Bowl years.
Rounding out the linebacking
slots are senior Ralph Alderman
(6-3, 212), junior Pete Stubbs and
See DUKE page 19
Mike Eppley was one of the Highest-rated passers last year.
Ford doesn 't comment
on Clems on probation
By MICHAEL SCHOOR
Clemson football coach Danny
Ford will use a bevy of Southern
colloquialisms to answer a ques
tion about someone or something.
But when the mood strikes him,
hell issue a terse "No comment."
Is the ACC out to get you?
Do some of the conference
schools have it in for your
"No comment," Ford drawled
in response to both.
Clemson, 30-2-2 over the past
three seasons, is a football pow
erhouse and deserving of its Top
10 national ranking. Clemson
has experienced players at most
positions, a winning tradition and
a loyal fundraising machine.
Clemson is ineligible for televi
sion games, the ACC champion
ship and any bowl competition.
Clemson is on probation.
"We're not in a conference
championship race and we're not
concerned," Ford said.
The ACC's restraints on the
season didn't cause any preseason
attitude problems, Ford said. The
"Everybody has motivational
problems with two or three prac
tices a day in 100-degree weather,"
he said. "Football's not fun with
no opponent coming up.
"The only motivational prob
lems we had was not blocking too
Who would want to block 6-3,
305-pound middle guard William
Perry, anyway? Perry is everyb
ody's All-American and everyb
ody's favorite Frigidaire.
"In basketball, everybody wants
a big 'ol tall guy to dominate,"
Ford said. "William is like a seven
foot basketball player. He can
change a team's offensive game
Perry must anchor an inexpe
rienced defensive line, which
returns only one other starter,
right end Terrence Mack.
"We're going to get whipped
some and give up some long runs,"
Offensively, the Tigers return
nine starters, including quarter
back Mike Eppley. Eppley, the
NCAA's third most efficient
passer in 1983, will throw to All
ACC tight end K.D. Dunn and
hand off to backs Stacey Driver
or Kenny Flowers.
Senior Dale Hatcher returns for
a fourth season of punting. Ford
calls him "one of the best ever to
kick a ball."
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1983 record: 9-1-1
Coach: Danny Ford
Starters returning: Offense (9)
LT Reid Ingle, C Dale Swing,
RG Andy Cheatham, RT Jeff
Cruce, SE Terrance Roulhac,
QB Mike Eppley, TE K.D. Dunn,
TB Stacey Driver, FL Shelton
Defense (7)- MG William Perry,
DE Terence Mack, LB Eldridge
Milton, LB Henry Walls, CB
Tyrone Davis, FS Ronald
Watson, P Dale Hatcher.
Forecast: Clemson is loaded.
Virtually all skill-position
players are back and Kenny
Flowers has moved from
tailback to fullback. Perry
anchors an inexperienced
defensive line, but the Tigers
have few other weaknesses.
Strong kicking game. Look for
them in the top 10. Prediction:
Ineligible for ACC
Hatcher and Perry have played
in all 34 Clemson games over the
past three seasons. They've played
in one bowl game, the 1982 Orange
Bowl, helping Clemson to a
Clemson's 1984 team may be
just as good as that 1981 national
title squad. "I don't know that this
football team is going to win yet,"
After two ridiculously easy wins
over Appalachian State (40-7) and
Virginia (55-0), Ford should have
a pretty good idea about his team's
status. Namely, that they probably
won't be beaten this year.
"But remember, our games
don't count," Ford said.
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