(The header image an old mascot of Duke University. The name actually refers to the Chasseurs Alpins, also known as “les diables bleus” (“The Blue Devils”), a French military unit which had impressed many Duke students and alumni returning home from the Western Front after WWI.)
We’ll have the normal predictions thread up tomorrow but it is hard to write about this upcoming game without speculating on the final outcome because, what it all boils down to, this game is the difference between having a winning regular season or not.
Duke is not the ACC powerhouse we faced last week or even back in the beginning of the season in North Carolina. Here is how they sit in the ACC Coastal Division as of today:
You can see we bracketed them with wins against Georgia Tech 37-34 and lowly Virginia 45-31. Which is nice because so far those two teams are the only Coastal wins we have at this point.
Here you can see that Duke is situated pretty firmly in the middle of the 128 schools in the NCAA rankings in the main offensive and defensive categories:
As things have been going this season you can probably use a factor of 1.5-2 when thinking about how many yards their QB might put up on us. 400 yards passing sounds about right as things have played out with our defense so far.
But Duke has played the underdog with a bite this year as the won against ND in South Bend 38-35 and then just last week they squeaked by North Carolina (who beat us earlier) by a score of 28-27.
So even with a 4-7 record they are a team to prepare for as equals. Here are the individual stats for their offensive players. What jumps out at as a threat to our defense is the fine play of their FR QB Daniel Jones. As you can see he’s a legit dual threat as both a passer and a a ball carrier on rushing plays.
From ESPN: Since 2013, there are 22 different coaches than have played at least 10 games against ranked opponents while coaching an unranked team. Only Duke’s David Cutcliffe does not have a losing record in those games (5-5).
As of this week the ACC has Pitt going to…. drum roll please… Hyundai Sun Bowl. Here is the countdown clock which I have on the homepage of my phone.
We’ll be back in the “Alternate” uniforms for Saturday’s match. Although why they call the ‘alternate’ I don’t know as we seem to have many variations of what the players wear out there. For some reason Pitt tends not to use the word “Throwback”.
And here is my new favorite play of the year: