Tag Archives: BDN Football Predictions

Week 7 Football Picks

Former Duke running back Re'quan Boyette picks against the BDN Staff as we tackle the nation's ten toughest games!

Mark Watson - FSU has lost to three really good teams and the Duke secondary is banged up. What does that mean? Duke is getting better and closer to competing with traditional ACC powers but there has yet to be that breakthrough win. FSU will try to jump on Duke from the start and if they get out to a two score advantage, the upset bid will be halted early on. However, if Duke can go into the locker room close, anything can happen. I am hoping for that breakthrough win, but feel it will be an FSU team with it's back against the wall FSU 37, Duke 23.

Bob Green - Florida State is reeling from three straight losses and has dropped out of the Top 25 after opening the season ranked number five in the country. Conversely, Duke is riding a three game winning streak. The Seminoles struggle to run the ball as evidenced by their last place ranking in the ACC (they average 12 less yards per game than Duke), and they have been bitten hard by the turnover bug. Florida State is minus seven on the year in Turnover Margin, which is also last in the ACC. However, the Seminoles lead the ACC in Passing Offense at 325 yards per game, while Duke is last in Passing Defense giving up 278 yards per game. Duke's defensive line must apply pressure on QB E.J. Manuel and the secondary must not give up big plays. Moreover, forcing turnovers will be important. On offense, the Blue Devils, who are number two in the ACC in Time of Possession, must be able to convert first downs in order to sustain drives and keep Florida State's offense off the field. Finally, Duke must take the field with a winning attitude and attack Florida State by throwing the ball down the field. I'm expecting a big day from QB Sean Renfree and the Dynamic Duo of Conner Vernon and Donovan Varner. Duke 34, FSU 30.

Patrick Cacchio - The Blue Devils have won 3 games in a row, but are 0-16 all-time against the Seminoles. One of those streaks is destined to end on Saturday. Florida State has struggled with turnovers this season, but the Blue Devil defense has been unable to consistently create turnovers. If Duke is able to force a few costly turnovers, there could be an upset brewing in Wallace Wade Stadium. After three straight losses and a healthier E.J. Manuel, expect the Seminoles to have a strong bounce-back performance against Duke. Both teams will have success on offense, and the opportunistic defense will emerge the victor. FSU 31, Duke 24.

Andrew Slater - For the seventeenth meeting of these two programs, this will be a test of the value of momentum. The Duke Blue Devils have won three consecutive games, while traditional power Florida State has not won a football game since September 10th. The Seminoles have won all six prior meetings at Wallace Wade, but this time may be the Devils best chance yet at pulling the massive upset against the Tallahassee school. The Seminoles have lost their starting running back and four-year blind side tackle, the latter may prove to be more problematic in the short-term as FSU is reliant on a pass-happy offense (325.4 passing yds per game). The game features two of the ACC's most talented quarterbacks, Sean Renfree and E.J. Manuel, and the game should be an exciting game for fans of high-octane offenses. For the Devils, the concern remains a banged-up secondary battling the Seminoles' strength. FSU 38, Duke 24.

Re'quan Boyette - Coming off the bye week Duke is back healthy and gaining more firepower in the backfield that will be needed to get a win over FSU. After watching them against Wake Forest last week, running the ball and dominating the line of scrimmage is key to pulling off a big ACC win! The defense will need to get pressure on EJ Manuel and not give up the big play. Secondary will have to stay ready as FSU has a talented freshman receiver. Special Teams will also be a big part to the Blue Devils going 2-0 in the ACC. I believe Duke can win this game and make a huge statement in the ACC. Duke 31, FSU 25.

John Roth takes on the BDN Staff in this weeks prognostications

Talk about digging a hole for myself!  I've always prided myself on my prognostication skills, winning many contests and pools over the years.  Going into this week I am an embarrassingly 7 games out as Bob Green has taken a significant lead on the pack.  This weeks guest picker is John Roth who is the man behind the scenes for the Duke Radio and Coach Cutcliffe shows.  Roth is also the author of the Encyclopedia of Duke Basketball, a fabulous book that is a must for reference, so check it out sometime!  John will try and close the 4 game deficit for the guest pickers and as always we pick the nation's ten toughest or closest match ups each week.

1. Bob  Green
2. Andrew Slater (-3)
3. Guest (-4)
4. Patrick Cacchio (-5)
5. Mark Watson (-7)

Mark Watson - The key to the game for Duke on Saturday is to simply be opportunistic.  Duke needs to win the battle of turnovers and succeed in the red zone.  I don't think you will see the Devils attempt many field goals unless it's a chip shot, so look for Duke to try and control field position throughout the day. This is a good opportunity for the Blue Devils to gain another win on Homecoming.  Look for the defense to make a big play. If Duke can keep their collective focus they'll come out with a much needed win for the program.  The real question is can they close on a team if they get the lead.  Duke 34, Tulane 20.

Bob Green - Sean Renfree will pick up right where he left off last weekend by connecting on short passes and throwing the ball down the field.  With Duke still shorthanded at running back, the Blue Devils offense will utilize the short pass in lieu of a traditional running game to move the chains and sustain drives.  I'll be looking for Renfree to complete passes to six different Blue Devils with two receivers recording eight or more catches against the Green Wave.  Duke 35, Tulane 21.

Patrick Cacchio - The Blue Devils are 10 points favorites for Homecoming this year, but this game is likely to be closer than that. The Green Wave are a balanced and talented football team that will challenge Duke in all phases of the game. Duke will have to put together another dominant offensive effort to emerge victorious Saturday, and Sean Renfree seems up to the task. Tulane will put up some points on the Duke defense, but will be unable to keep up with the potent Blue Devil passing game. Duke 35, Tulane 31.

Andrew Slater -Both programs come in after enervating road wins, the Blue Devils will look to sustain that winning momentum on Homecoming weekend. Both programs feature pass happy offenses, with quarterbacks that have been successful at spreading the wealth amongst their receiving corps. For Duke, they need to keep the ball away from their former linebacker Trent Mackey, who led the Green Wave with 124 tackles last season, and DB/PR Derrick Strozier, who already has two interceptions on the young season. The Duke defense stood strong last week on the road against Boston College, pitching a shutout in the second half. They'll need to shut down an offense averaging 33 points per game this season. Tulane appears to have an edge in special teams. Cairo Santos has made 15 of 20 career field goals and 45 of 46 PATs, while their punter, Jonathan Ginsburgh, is sixteenth in the country in punting average, including three kicks of more than fifty yards and three punts that landed within their opponents' twenty yard line.  Duke 28, Tulane 24.

John Roth- Duke’s defense has been better than expected so far and got a confidence boost from pitching a second-half shutout last week, forcing BC to punt on every possession before the final drive. The defense needs to continue its improvement this week against a Tulane team that has averaged 48 points per game in its two wins. With its physical line and big QB, Tulane has scored on 10 of 12 trips to the red zone, 8 TDs vs. 2 FGs. The guess here is that Duke’s D buckles down in the red zone, with Tulane getting its 16 points on 3 FGs and one TD. Offensively Duke has piled up some passing yardage and last week controlled the ball for 20 minutes in the second half, but it still has not been effective enough in finishing possessions with points. The absence of a field goal game obviously hasn’t helped. Look for the Blue Devils to take another incremental step forward offensively with four TDs this week in evening their record at 2-2.   Duke 28, Tulane 16.

Bob Harris joins BDN Staff for Week One College Football Predictions

Welcome to week one of the college football season!  The BDN Staff and a weekly guest prognosticator will pick the nations toughest games each week of the season.  There will be no gimme games on our weekly list and you will not see us pad records with easy picks.  This week we are joined by the Voice of the Blue Devils Bob Harris.  I couldn't think of a better guest to kick off the season than Harris, the long time play by play man for the Duke Radio Network.  Be sure to check out his site where you can purchase his latest book by going here - The Voice of the Blue Devils.  Each week we'll have a Duke celebrity as a guest picker and with that said, on to week one -

Mark Watson Bob Green Patrick Cacchio Andrew Slater Bob Harris
UCLA at Houston UCLA UCLA UCLA Houston Houston
BYU at Ole Miss Ole Miss BYU Ole Miss BYU BYU
Wake Forest at Syracuse Syracuse Syracuse Syracuse Syracuse Syracuse
Northwestern at Boston College Northwestern Northwestern BC BC BC
South Fla at Notre Dame ND ND ND ND ND
Boise St. at Georgia Georgia Boise St. Boise St. Boise St. Georgia
Oregon vs LSU (N) LSU Oregon LSU Oregon Oregon
William & Mary at Virginia UVA UVA UVA UVA UVA
Richmond at Duke Duke Duke Duke Duke Duke

Richmond at Duke Game Predictions -

Mark Watson - The Blue Devils face a must win situation right out of the gate when they face the 19th rated team in the FCS on Saturday when Richmond comes to Wallace Wade Stadium.  The Spiders will try and spin their web around the Blue Devils for a second consecutive time but they'll find wrapping up Duke will not be an easy task. Duke 34 Richmond 16

Bob Green - Duke will dominate the time of possession by executing a balanced offensive attack resulting in numerous sustained drives.  Look for Duke to run the ball for over 200 yards against the Spiders.  With the defense well rested into the 4th quarter, the Blue Devils will pressure Richmond's offense and create turnovers.  The special teams will pull off a big play in the season opener.  Duke 41 Richmond 7.

Patrick Cacchio -Duke will win, but it may not be comfortable. Seventeen Blue Devils will play their first college game on Saturday, so there are sure to be some butterflies and growing pains. Renfree and the offense should give the young Duke defense a lead to work with, which will help them slow Aaron Corp and the Spiders. Juwan Thompson will pace the ground game and Jamison Crowder will have a breakout Blue Devil debut. Duke 34, Richmond 17

Andrew Slater - In the thirteenth meeting of this series, Duke should end its two-game losing streak to Richmond on Saturday. With a full year of starting in the Cutcliffe system under his belt, Sean Renfree and his talented receiving corps should take advantage of a Spiders defense that lost six starters, including its top three tacklers as well as DB/KR Justin Rogers, a seventh round selection of the Buffalo Bills.  Defensively, the Blue Devils will need to contain the USC transfer, senior QB Aaron Corp, who sustained a season-ending knee injury for the Spiders in the fifth game of last year's season. Duke 34-Richmond 20

Bob Harris - The Blue Devils will get 2011 off on the right foot with a 41-14 victory.  Duke OL dominates Spiders up front, allowing Renfree to complete 4 TD throws.  Matt Daniels will have 2 ints to lead the defense. Duke 41 Richmond 14