For the fourth time in five seasons, Clemson Football will open its season against an ACC foe. While fans might think they are familiar with the Duke Blue Devils, they probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
The Tigers will visit Wallace Wade Stadium on Labor Day Monday, September 4th at 8:00 PM. The game will be carried nationally by ESPN.
Clemson leads the overall series 37-16-1. The Tigers are playing the Blue Devils for the first time since 2018. This will be the first time Clemson played in Durham since 2012.
Traditionally, football fans consider Duke’s football program to be a lower-tier ACC program, but that opinion is not reflective of the competitiveness of the Devil program in 2022 in their first season under head coach Mike Elko.
Duke finished 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the ACC in Elko’s first campaign. They finished tied for second in the Coastal Division. In their three conference losses, they lost at Georgia Tech by three points in overtime, against North Carolina by three points, and at Pitt by two points.
Clemson Football will face an experienced Duke squad on Labor Day
The Blue Devils return much of their production on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Riley Leonard had a breakout season in 2022 with 2,967 yards and 20 touchdowns, against only six interceptions. Leonard is a rising junior who could play himself into NFL Draft consideration with a good season.
Leonard’s top seven pass-catchers from 2022 (five receivers, the starting tight end, and the starting running back) all return, as do eight players on the defensive side of the ball.
The respect for the Blue Devils is reflected in their preseason rankings. Both Lindy’s and Athlon have Duke ranked just outside the Top 25 at 33rd and 35th respectively.
Most pundits would likely agree that Clemson’s collective talent is greater than Duke’s as we approach the 2023 opener, but the Tigers can’t rest on their laurels. Elko and the Blue Devils will want nothing more than to make a statement against Clemson on national television.
Duke 2022 Statistics
All stats per teamrankings.com against FBS competition only
- Points per game: 31.5 (35th)
- Yards per game: 415.6 (40th)
- Points allowed per game: 22.3 (25th)
- Yards allowed per game: 380.3 (56th)