The Duke Blue Devils are coming off a 3-9 football season in 2011, and the 2012 season opener is no walk in the park with the Florida International Golden Panthers coming to Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., at 7 p.m. ET Saturday night.
FIU has been to bowl games in back-to-back seasons under head coach Mario Cristobal. Duke is 2-2 in season openers under coach David Cutcliffe. The Panthers have an opportunity to steal a win over a major-conference opponent on the road.
The Panthers' offense will be key. FIU will also seek revenge after losing 31-27 to the Blue Devils at home last season, and is led by quarterback Jake Medlock, running back Kedrick Rhodes and wide receiver Wayne Times. The FIU defense returns almost all of its starters from a team that went 8-5 last season.
Blue Devils quarterback Sean Renfree is back as a senior, and will look for top target Conner Vernon.
Duke is a slight favorite by 3.5 points.
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