The Duke Blue Devils return to Wallace Saturday at noon to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies for a chance to continue its momentum and for a more reputable bowl bid. With their 38-31 win over Boston College last weekend, Duke officially is heading bowling. At 6-3 on the season, it’s all up from here for the Blue Devils. That starts with staying healthy on both sides of the ball. Mike Elko broke the news earlier this week that starting OL Jacob Monk, who played both center and guard through durations of the season, is out for the year.
Efficient clock management, controlling time of possession and winning the battle within the trenches are why the Duke Blue Devils have succeeded under first year coach Mike Elko and are in second place within the Coastal Division of the ACC. Ahead of the entire conference with 26 rushing touchdowns on the season, Duke is doing the little things, ultimately resulting in positive outcomes. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, has lost six straight game, including two nail-biters against Georgia Tech a week ago 28-27, and 22-21 to NC State.
Offensive Scheme vs Vulnerable Defense
The Hokies on the year rank dead last in the entire ACC on offense, netting just 316 yards per game. In Comparison, Duke has allowed nearly 400 yards per game on the defensive side of the ball, which almost cost them the game against Boston College. Nevertheless, Duke still ranks in the top 5 in the country in turnover margin.
Time for a New Era
The Blue Devils haven’t defeated the Hokies at home since 1981 – losing of 5 out of the 6 last contests.
Statistically, both teams compare across the board. Virginia Tech allows 25 points per game to Duke’s 23. Through the air, Duke allows 210 yards compared to Virginia Tech’s 212. On the ground, Duke yields 123 yards rushing per game to Virginia Tech’s 134.
Battle Behind Center
Riley Leonard – Duke
159-246, 1851 yards which include 11 Touchdowns, to 4 interceptions. Leonard also leads the four-headed monster rushing attack with 577 yards on the season on nearly 100 carries (91).
Grant Wells- Virginia Tech
166-284, 1846 yards, 8 Touchdowns, 8 interceptions
Key Skill Players
Jalon Calhoun- Duke
36 receptions, 491 yards, 2 Touchdowns
Kaleb Smith- Virginia Tech
35 receptions, 647 yards, 3 Touchdowns
Darius Joyner- Duke
70 tackles on the season including 3 Sacks, 1 interception
Dewayne Carter- Duke
4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 Fumble recoveries
Dax Hollifield- Virginia Tech
67 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble, Fumble Recoveries