Duke hopes to halt a three game losing streak when Pitt visits Brooks Field in Wallace Wade Stadium this Saturday. The Blue Devils should have every reason in the world to want a little revenge. The reason being Pitt hung 56 points on Duke a season ago in what some viewed as running up the score.
What we always know is that Pitt will play a physical game of football in that is their modus operand. They will be playing two quarterbacks in the game as their starter went down earlier in the season. But make no mistake, there is little drop off there and plenty of good wideouts that can make big plays in the cupboard.
But this game will have more to do with Duke and how they respond. After a solid 4-0 start, Duke finds itself seeking wins for bowl eligibility. Duke is favored to win in this game but there is possibly one more game when that will be the case in the final five contests.
The Blue Devils have been a mess at times on offense of late. They are struggling with the passing game, so maybe they will start to lean more on a team strength which is the running game. Look for more two tight end sets as well with Duke looking to get their best pass catchers on the field.
The danger for Duke is that if their passing game does not start to click, teams will stack the box. A week ago, only one receiver caught multiple passes. The second man up had two catches for 8 yards.
One of the bright spots this season has been the defense. The front quite young, but better and the secondary has made big plays. One of the weaknesses has been simply field punts. Duke has had horrible starting field position aided by solid kicks and unfortunate bounces.
The bottom line is that this game is a must win for the team and the program. It is important to win against division foes and after last seasons lop sided loss at Pitt, Duke will be measured by how they perform on Saturday.
Duke should win this game. They have the talent to do so but they must put together a consistent effort.
The pick here is Duke 31 Pitt 17