Seamless change for Duke at OC

When former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper decided in January to leave Durham for the same position at Florida, one of the biggest keys to the Blue Devils' historic 10-win 2013 season had to be replaced.

Coach David Cutcliffe didn't have to look far.

Cutcliffe promoted assistant Scottie Montgomery last week, and the Blue Devils have had a smooth start to spring practices with their new play-caller. Montgomery, who is entering just his second season on the staff after spending last season as the offensive coordinator of the passing game, is no stranger to Duke. The 1999 graduate starred as an All-ACC wideout at Duke from 1996-99, and he also spent four seasons (2006-09) on the Blue Devils staff under head coaches Ted Roof and Cutcliffe.

"We just picked up where we left off," starting running back Josh Snead said. "Same system, just another guy in charge. He brings a lot of excitement, a lot of energy, and we love him as a person and as a coach. He brings the best out of each guy every day at practice. It's been fun the past three days."

Montgomery also will coach the quarterbacks, and Cutcliffe now will have to hire a wide receivers coach. The biggest benefit from promoting from within, though, is the stability and continuity it will provide a team coming off its most successful season in the ACC's Coastal Division.

"A lot of young guys who may have redshirted last year, we still have the same playbook as last fall," Snead said. "They can get better off of that and continue to grow."