Duke looks for a win on Senior Day against Miami

Conner Vernon will cap off a record-setting career in Durham on Saturday against Miami - BDN Photo

Miami at Duke
12:30 PM ET
Saturday, November 24
Durham, North Carolina

TV: ACC Network

Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Duke: 6-5 (3-4 ACC), lost at Georgia Tech, 42-24

Miami: 6-5 (4-3 ACC), defeated USF, 40-9




PROBABLE: S Jordon Byas, S Anthony Young-Wiseman
QUESTIONABLE: S Brandon Braxton
OUT: CB Jared Boyd, LB Kelby Brown, TE Braxton Deaver
OUT FOR SEASON: CB Lee Butler, TE Jack Farrell, WR Blair Holliday, DE Allen Jackson, S Corbin McCarthy, S Taylor Sowell


OUT: OL Jermaine Johnson, WR Rashawn Scott
OUT FOR SEASON: WR Davon Johnson, WR Robert Lockhart Jr., RB Eduardo Clements, OL Ben Jones, WR Malcolm Lewis, LS Sean McNally, LB Ramon Buchanan


It's Senior Day in Durham and the Blue Devils will have to put forth an inspired performance to pull off the upset against the Hurricanes. The key to a Duke win will be in establishing the running game against a Miami defense that ranks last in the conference, allowing 224 yards per game. Miami will look to feature star freshman Duke Johnson in their offense, and the Blue Devils will need to showcase their own young star in Jela Duncan. In addition to struggling against the run, the Miami defense ranks near the bottom of the ACC in sacks and tackles for loss, meaning that the Blue Devil offensive line needs to establish their dominance early and often in this game. Duke will need to match the Hurricanes' speed in special teams to prevent big plays. Stephen Morris has had success moving the ball through the air with Philip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott his favorite targets on the year, and tackling the explosive Johnson will be a challenge.


The difference in recent years between these two teams has been Duke's inability to contain the Hurricanes' athletes. This year could be a similar result if Stephen Morris gets going through the air, and if Duke Johnson breaks a few runs on the ground against a Blue Devil defense that has allowed more than its fair share of explosive plays (think Stanford, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson). Miami will look to break open the game in special teams, where Johnson already has 2 kick return touchdowns on the season. Their defense will have to contain hometown star Conner Vernon and the speedy Jamison Crowder, and hope that the Duke offensive line struggles as they have at times this year. For Miami to finish their season on a winning note, though, they have to win with explosive plays.


With another self-imposed postseason ban looming, the Hurricanes will have to find their own motivation on Saturday. Jela Duncan will set a new career high in his brief career against the struggling Miami defense, and the Blue Devils' other sensational freshmen, Ross Martin and Will Monday, will contain the Hurricanes' return game. The Blue Devils are going bowling and will look to close the careers of Sean Renfree, Desmond Scott, and Conner Vernon on a winning note at home. It's been a terrific four years for this group of seniors, and they'll leave Wallace Wade Stadium as winners. Duke 38, Miami 34