Duke at Virginia
3:30 PM ET
Saturday, October 19
TV: Regional Sports Network
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network
Duke in 2013: 4-2 (Defeated Navy 35-7 last week)
UVA in 2013: 2-4 (Lost at Maryland 26-27 last week)
PROBABLE – QB Brandon Connette, DT AJ Wolf
QUESTIONABLE – WR Johnell Barnes
OUT – CB Jared Boyd, LB Kyler Brown, QB Thomas Sirk
OUT FOR SEASON – OT Tanner Stone, DT Jamal Wallace
PROBABLE – LB Daquan Romero, TB Khalek Shepherd
OUT – K Ian Frye, CB Demetrious Nicholson, DT Brent Urban
OUT FOR SEASON – OG George Adeosun, TE Mario Nixon, S Wilfred Wahee
HOW DUKE CAN WIN
Anthony Boone made his first start a year ago against these same Virginia Cavaliers, and if the Blue Devils hope to escape Charlottesville with a win, they will need another big day from Boone. Without their starting DT and CB, the Blue Devils will look to exploit specific matchups against an aggressive Cavalier defense. Expect Duke to look early and often to find Jamison Crowder, Issac Blakeney, and Braxton Deaver in space. Duke’s offense has been steadied this year by a strong ground game that averages nearly 184 yards per game. Against a freshman DT, Duke will look to run Juwan Thompson and Jela Duncan between the tackles to balance their offensive attack. Positive plays on first and second down will be key to bring up manageable 3rd down opportunities against a Virginia defense that ranks 2nd in the country in opponent 3 and outs.
Defensively, Duke will look to build off last week’s success against Navy. A successful Blue Devil defensive effort will force Virginia QB David Watford into poor decisions, leading to turnovers. The Cavaliers’ quarterback has already thrown for 7 interceptions through the first 6 games, and CB Ross Cockrell and company will look to be opportunistic. The key matchup for the Blue Devils will be Virginia TE Jake McGee, who leads his team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs. Jim Knowles will likely try out a number of Blue Devil defenders on the Cavaliers’ big weapon. UVA is coming off their best offensive line performance of the season against Maryland, but will have their hands full against Duke’s veteran defensive front led by Kenny Anunike and Justin Foxx. The Duke defense will be helped out by their special teams unit, which will force the Wahoos to take the long way down the field.
HOW VIRGINIA CAN WIN
The Cavaliers will look to build upon their improved performance a week ago against Maryland on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they will look to establish Kevin Parks and their backs early to ease pressure on Watford. A successful ground game will open things up for Watford through the air against a suspect Duke secondary. Virginia has enough weapons in the receiving game to put up explosive plays against the young Duke defensive backs. Ball security will be paramount for Virginia, a team struggling to find its confidence and momentum.
Anthony Boone threw four 4 TDs a year ago against Virginia, and the Cavaliers will be desperate for a win this weekend. Expect them to try and get to Boone early and often, testing out his freshly-healed clavicle. Containing the Duke running game, along with stuffing the fan-favorite screen pass, will force Duke into 3rd and long situations, a strength of this Cavalier team. Winning 3rd down is essential for a Cavalier victory.
WHY DUKE WILL WIN
Coach Cutcliffe is 4-1 against Virginia since arriving in Durham, and will look to improve to 5-1 on Saturday behind a balanced effort in all 3 phases. Anthony Boone and the Duke offense have found their stride, and will find creative ways to move the ball against a tough Cavalier defense. The Blue Devils have too many offensive weapons for the young Wahoos, and will utilize offensive mismatches for explosive plays. An early Blue Devil lead will leave the Cavaliers scrambling for answers offensively, placing pressure on the inconsistent arm of Watford. Look for an opportunistic turnover to help put the Blue Devils up for good.
Duke 27, Virginia 21