Category Archives: Duke Football

Jeremy Cash

Jeremy Cash talks UNC at Duke

Jeremy CashThe UNC at Duke game is bigger than ever this season.  Firstly, it is a must win game for the Blue Devils if they hope to win the Coastal Division.  Secondly, UNC is vying for a bowl and would like nothing more than to knock Duke out of that spot.  Thirdly, the game will be on national TV where ESPN is expecting a shoot out.  Blue Devil Nation talked with Jeremy Cash about the big contest where he spoke to his girlfriend, a UNC student, supporting his efforts.  He also addressed what Duke would be facing on the defensive end.

Anthony Boone 11-15-14

Mistakes cost Blue Devils in loss to Virginia Tech

DURHAM - All season long, the Blue Devils have prided themselves on taking care of the football and protecting their quarterback. With an extra week to prepare, Bud Foster and the Virginia Tech defense were able to turn the tables on Anthony Boone and the Duke offense. The Hokies forced three Blue Devil turnovers and sacked Boone three times on Saturday en route to a 17-16 win. Boone finished the day just 18/40 for 181 yards with 2 interceptions.

Anthony Boone post-game

Turnovers weren't the only miscues for the Blue Devils on Saturday, as Ross Martin missed on two field goals, from 51 and 40 yards. The second miss, with 2:26 left to play, essentially sealed the win for the Hokies. Duke's junior kicker had been perfect on the season entering the game.

Ross Martin post-game

The Blue Devils (8-2, 4-2 ACC) face a quick turnaround as they host rival North Carolina in a Thursday night matchup on ESPN. As has been the case in recent meetings, more than just the Victory Bell will be at stake for both teams. The Tar Heels are fighting for bowl eligibility and the Blue Devils will need a win to stay in the ACC Coastal Division race. Tickets are still available at GoDuke.com.

DSC_0098

Preview: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

DSC_0098Preview: Duke vs. Virginia Tech
12:00 PM ET
Saturday, November 15
Durham, NC
TV: ESPNU
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, Sirius Ch 92 and XM Ch 194

Duke in 2014: 8-1
Virginia Tech in 2014: 4-5

DUKE INJURIES

OUT – Alonzo Saxton II (CB)
OUT FOR SEASON – Kelby Brown (LB), Braxton Deaver (TE), Taariq Shabazz (DE)

VIRGINIA TECH INJURIES

DOUBTFUL - Brandon Facyson (CB), Trey Edmunds (RB), Chase Williams (LB)
OUT FOR SEASON - Luther Maddy (DT), Shai McKenzie (RB), Jonathan McLaughlin (OT)

Duke and Virginia Tech last faced each other on October 26, 2013 in a game Duke won 13-10 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. In their last game out, Duke beat Syracuse 27-10, while Virginia Tech lost to Boston College 33-31 on November 1. Virginia Tech is coming off a bye week.

HOW DUKE CAN WIN

On offense, look for Duke to pass to set-up the run. Achieving balance remains vital to success, but this week Duke must first achieve success in the passing game, then run the ball. Why? Virginia Tech has talented cornerbacks who can lock up wide receivers one-on-one. Kendall Fuller's 47 yard Pick Six against North Carolina and Donovan Riley's 63 yard Pick Six against Ohio State are examples. This strategy allows them to stack the box with eight men to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. Duke must force Virginia Tech to reduce the number of defenders in the box. With Jamison Crowder and Issac Blakeney lining up wide for the Blue Devils, it is imperative Duke wins the one-on-one wide receiver/cornerback match-ups. Blakeney and Crowder had great games against Syracuse and this weekend would be a great time to see encore performances.

On defense, Duke must force the Hokies to be one dimensional on offense by stopping the run. Virginia Tech has struggled to run the ball so the Blue Devils must ensure those struggles continue on Saturday afternoon in Wallace Wade Stadium. Once Virginia Tech is forced to rely on the pass, they are playing to Duke's defensive strength a ball hawking secondary.

The Blue Devil special teams have been special this season so against the Hokies the special teams must perform to win the field position battle and force Virginia Tech to face a long field all afternoon. It sounds simple and at times this season Duke has made it look simple, but a lot of hard work and effort go into executing those exciting returns and great coverage. Historically, the Hokies have excelled on special teams earning the moniker Beamer Ball. This Saturday afternoon Duke special teams need to flip the script and outperform Virginia Tech.

HOW DUKE CAN LOSE

If Duke fails to protect quarterback Anthony Boone, they will lose. Virginia Tech defensive ends have combined for 10.5 sacks this season with the defense combining for 31 sacks total, which is third best in the conference. As stated above, this is a game where the Blue Devils need to successfully pass the ball in order to set-up the run so Anthony Boone must have time to go through his progressions, locate open receivers and accurately deliver the ball. Duke's offensive line has been superb so far this season and it will need to be superb again against the Hokies who will certainly blitz, blitz and then blitz some more.

If Duke fails to value the ball, they will lose. Duke is ranked first in the ACC in Turnover Margin at +9, while Virginia Tech is number 13 at -4. Duke cannot afford empty possessions so they must not turnover the ball to the Hokies. Moreover, turning the ball over forces the Blue Devils defense back on the field. In what by all acounts should be a closely contested game, the team that is freshest in the pivotal 4th quarter will have an advantage. Turnovers lead to fatigue.

WHY DUKE WILL WIN

Duke and Virginia Tech are programs on opposite trajectories. Duke is on the rise while the once vaunted Virginia Tech Hokies are falling as evidenced by their position in the ACC Coastal Division basement. Duke will beat Virginia Tech because the Blue Devils will be the better coached team, the more disciplined team and the more talented team.

BOTTOM LINE

This game will be won by the team which can dictate their will upon the opponent. Can Duke force Virginia Tech out of their man-on-man pass coverage on the outside? Will Virginia Tech successfully stack eight men in the box for all four quarters? The answer to those two questions will dictate the game outcome.

Duke 23, Virginia Tech 19

Anthony Boone 8-30-14

Duke QB Anthony Boone talks Hokies

Anthony-Boone-10-6-12The one thing Anthony Boone does consistently is win.  The Duke quarterback faces another stiff challenge this weekend from a notoriously tough Hokie defense.  Make no mistake that the Duke versus Virginia Tech match up is the key game left on the schedule.  With a win, Duke can split their remaining two regular season games and earn no less than a tie for the Coastal Division crown.  If Duke can get past the Hokies and Florida State takes out Miami this weekend, a split moving forward would clinch the division title.