Duke Blue Devils at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Chick-fil-A Kickoff; TV: ABC; Line: Alabama -35; Over/Under: 58
Saturday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m.; Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Ga.
Former Tennessee football offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe has built a great program with the Duke Blue Devils and now has another former quarterback in the NFL in Daniel Jones. That’s the good news. The bad news is Jones, along with his top four receiving targets, have all left for the pros as well.
With that much loss of talent, the last thing Duke wants to be doing is opening up the season at the Alabama Crimson Tide on the road. Nick Saban’s team has been hinting all offseason that they are on a mission to blow everybody out based on the anger from their 44-16 national championship loss to the Clemson Tigers last year.
The combination leads everybody to believe they will take that anger out on Duke in the opener. And while it’s likely to be a blowout, Duke’s hope is just to make it somewhat respectable. How much of a chance do they have?
Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils have no chance in this game. That much is clear. However, despite losing so much production, they return their entire offensive line, lots of their defensive production and their leading rusher. So Cutcliffe will successfully turn to defense and the ground game here, which keeps the Tide from covering the spread or hitting the over.