Will Riley Leonard be behind center versus the Wolfpack has been the talk around the ACC since the Duke Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season to powerhouse Notre Dame two weeks ago.
Mike Elko stated Monday evening during his weekly presser that Riley is indeed showing tremendous progress and is day-to-day. He further mentioned that Leonard was throwing passes during the Monday morning practice and that there was a positive outlook for his return.
He did not rule out Leonard playing Saturday versus the Pack, but ensured redshirt freshman Henry Belin would be ready to step behind center, if the opportunity presented itself.
What to Watch For When the Pack Face the Blue Devils
NC State explored a different direction versus Marshall a week ago with the benching of Virginia transfer Brennan Armstrong due to poor play, turning to MJ Morris who accounted for 4 touchdowns in a 48-41 shootout.
However, Morris did account for three interceptions during the start – finishing the day 17-32 for 265 yards.
On the season the Wolfpack pride themselves on the defensive end, accounting for a league leading 21 sacks, seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries. With Henry Belin potentially stepping in for an injured Riley Leonard, and limited snaps, the Wolfpack will certainly look to cause disruption for the Duke offense. Henry’s recent action came this year against Lafayette in blowout fashion – finishing the contest 8-8 for 118 yards and one touchdown.
Duke’s tandem of Jordan Waters and Jaquez Moore have combined for 538 yards combined on the ground, a reason why this group is 2nd in the conference in rushing yards.
How can Duke rebound coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Fighting Irish?
By The Numbers
- Can Duke get off the field on 3rd down? Against Marshall the Wolfpack were only 3 of 12 on 3rd down conversions, which is a staple of Mike Elko’s defense and a key to winning any contest.
- This is the first meeting at Wallace Wade between Duke and NC State since a 2013 38-20 Blue Devils’ victory. The Wolfpack defeated the Blue Devils in Raleigh in 2020, 31-20.
- Duke surrenders 11.5 points per game compared to NC State 23.5 points per game.
- Payton Wilson – NC State, 70 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries
- Kevin Concepcion – NC State, 31 recs, 347 yards, 4 TD’s
- Jordan Moore – Duke, 24 recs, 313 yards, 3 TD’s
- Jalon Calhoun – Duke, 23 recs, 299 yards
- Myles Jones -Duke, 2 ints.
How to watch
8:00 ACC Network