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Duke Football Optimistic Heading Into Season

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke is once again the preseason pick to
finish last in its division in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But for a change, the Blue Devils have some legitimate reasons
for optimism.

Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is back for a fourth year as the
starter. A pair of key defensive players have returned for their
senior seasons.

And everyone wearing the royal blue and white has had another
year to digest coach David Cutcliffe's systems and Southeastern
Conference style.

Lewis says the Blue Devils are no longer content with simply
coming close. Duke was 4-3 in late October before ending on a
five-game losing streak.
They've got 10 starters back but only nine scholarship seniors
on the roster, making them one of the nation's youngest teams.


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