Mike Elko is back in the first spot even though his Blue Devils were on a bye in Week 6. That actually helped because he didn’t have to face anyone with Riley Leonard sidelined.
In fact, his star quarterback suffered a gnarly ankle injury in the tough loss to Notre Dame and he’s likely going to miss a couple of games. Elko’s Blue Devils will get their first shot at an ACC foe without Leonard in Week 7 as NC State comes to town. Win that one handily, and I’ll be fully bought into the idea of Elko as next head coach. Lose that game and I’ll be concerned that Riley was the only reason this team was good.
That’s not entirely fair, though. Duke was a combined 10-25 in the three seasons before Elko took over and he turned the ship around right away, going 9-4 in his first season.
Now, the Blue Devils are 4-1 and ranked No. 17 in the nation. They’ll be tested heavily in the coming weeks following the NC State game with road battles at Florida State and Louisville.
We will be closely monitoring.