Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Bad news for the Blue Devils

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Just when it seemed as if things might be looking up for Duke ...

Senior running back and leading rusher Re'quan Boyette underwent orthoscopic surgery on his left knee Sunday morning and will be out indefinitely, the school announced today. Boyette was injured during Duke's 80-snap situational scrimmage on Saturday evening.

Boyette led Duke in rushing in each of the past two seasons, and his 1,072 career yards rank seventh among active players in the ACC. He has played in 33 career games with 10 starts, and rushed 251 times for 1,072 yards (4.3 ypc) while catching 30 passes for 140 yards. Boyette has five career touchdown runs and owns the 10th-longest rush from scrimmage in Duke history with a 78-yard run against Florida State on October 22, 2005.

"We're certainly disappointed for Re'quan, but we know that he'll do everything in his power to return to the field," coach David Cutcliffe stated in a release. "We'll now turn to Clifford Harris for senior leadership at running back and see who among the younger players will step forward and take advantage of this opportunity."

Harris, Boyette's roommate since their arrival at Duke in 2005, has played in 33 career games with six starts. He has rushed 92 times for 351 yards (3.8 ypc) and one touchdown while catching 15 passes for 155 yards. The remainder of the position group includes sophomore Tony Jackson, redshirt freshman Cameron Jones and true freshmen Jay Hollingsworth and Patrick Kurunwune. Jackson is a converted defensive back who highlighted the 2008 spring game with a 75-yard touchdown run.

Can Duke still improve upon last year's one-win season without its leading rusher? I'll be in Durham this week to find out.