Duke 's job against Texas A&M in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl was already plenty tough. But it got even tougher Saturday with the news that leading rusher Jela Duncan will miss the game through academic suspension.
From Raleigh News and Observer reporter Laura Keeley:
#Duke announces leading rusher Jela Duncan has been suspended for violation of university academic policy. Will be gone all next year, too— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) December 21, 2013
The loss is a big one for the Blue Devil rushing game, both against the Aggies and going forward. Duncan's 562 yards rushing led the team, with the 5-foot-10, 210-pound sophomore also collecting 123 yards receiving this season and scoring four total touchdowns.
David Cutcliffe's offense does spread its carries around, with tailbacks Josh Snead and Shaquille Powell and quarterback Brandon Connette all finishing with between 330 and 550 rushing yards. But keeping up with Johnny Manziel and Co. -- not to mention mounting a defense of the Blue Devils' ACC Coastal championship in 2014 -- will likely require all hands on deck, and Duncan's won't be available.
The Blue Devils are 12.5-point underdogs to Texas A&M in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, set for 8 p.m. ET New Year's Eve.