Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Duke's defense has to be better this season - if only because the Blue Devils couldn't get much worse than in 2012. ''Every Saturday this year is going to be a showcase for us, a showcase to prove what we've worked on in the offseason,'' cornerback Ross Cockrell said Tuesday. They certainly had plenty to fine-tune, and the first chance to show what they've learned comes this weekend against crosstown Championship Subdivision opponent North Carolina Central. Improvement on defense has been a top priority for Duke, which ranked 10th or worse in the Atlantic Coast Conference in all four of the major defensive stat categories. No ACC team allowed more points per game last year than the Blue Devils, who gave up an average of 36. They surrendered at least 41 points in six of their final seven games last season, a blight on an otherwise breakout year in which they reached their first bowl since 1994. ''We haven't won very many 49-48 games,'' defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said. ''W...
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