The Duke Blue Devils play their final home game of the 2012-13 season versus Miami this Saturday at 12:30 in Wallace Wade Stadium. Check out what Duke running back Josh Snead and defensive back Ross Cockrell had to say today about the match up via BDN Video -
Duke (1-4) begins the second half of their season at 1:00 on Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium, where they will take on the Miami Hurricanes (3-2). With basketball season kicking off Friday night, the Blue Devil Nation will be out in force in Durham this weekend. BDN previews Saturday’s matchup with the Canes and what it will take for a Blue Devil victory.
Duke in Week 5
The Blue Devils’ last game was two weeks ago in College Park, where they fell to the Terrapins, 21-16. The Blue Devils outplayed the Terrapins for much of the game, but the key factors in the loss were red zone offense, turnovers, and special teams. Duke traveled to the red zone 4 times in the first half, coming away with only 9 points, and a 9-7 halftime lead. An 84-yard kick return for a touchdown and a 71-yard touchdown pass put the Blue Devils in a second half hole once again. The offense rallied, but came up short, ultimately failing to overcome their 2-0 turnover deficit. During the bye week, the Blue Devils underwent a thorough self-examination, and expect to see some personnel and schematic changes as they take the field on Saturday.
Miami in Week 6
The Hurricanes put forth their worst effort of the season last Saturday evening, falling at home to the rival Florida State Seminoles 45-17. The Canes were dominated from the start, and found themselves in a 21-0 hole early in the second quarter. The team failed to consistently match the Seminoles intensity and physical play, which resulted in many fans and analysts questioning their coaching and leadership. The previously-dominant Hurricanes’ defense gave up an astonishing 471 total yards, including 298 on the ground. Jacory Harris finished the day just 19/47 for 225 yards and an interception. Damien Berry paced the ground game with 101 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.
Miami is a team of big, physical athletes that will challenge the Blue Devils in all areas of the game. Duke should be near full strength after a week off, and the Hurricanes expect Jacory Harris to play, despite a recent groin pull. The Hurricanes enter the game at the top of the ACC in total defense, giving up just over 300 total yards per game, and also first in pass defense, giving up just 143 yards through the air per game. The defense is effective in bringing pressure, already totaling 11 sacks and 11 turnovers on the season. Perhaps the most telling statistic is tackles for loss, where the Hurricanes lead the NCAA with 48 total tackles for loss. The Hurricanes will get after the Blue Devils from all angles, led by LBs Sean Spence and Colin McCarthy. On the defensive front, the pass rush will be led by Olivier Vernon and Andrew Smith, each with 3 solo sacks on the year. The Hurricanes’ secondary is fast and physical and has already grabbed 7 interceptions on the year.
Offensively, Miami has several weapons, most notably RB Damien Berry and WR Leonard Hankerson. Berry is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, while Hankerson enters the game 2nd in the ACC in receiving at 92 yards per game and 6 touchdowns. RB Graig Cooper is healthy again after a week 1 injury and will bolster the Canes’ rushing attack. The slowly improving Blue Devil defense will have to contain these explosive weapons to keep the Hurricanes out of the end zone. Jacory Harris enters the game averaging 220 yards passing and a total of 10 touchdowns. That being said, Harris has continued to be plagued by poor throws and interceptions. If Duke can apply pressure and good coverage, they should be able to force Harris into turnovers and keep themselves in the game. Miami also enters the game last in the ACC in penalties, averaging 68.6 yards per game, which could help sustain Blue Devil drives and stall the Hurricanes. The advantage should go to Duke in the kicking game, where Will Snyderwine is 9/10 on the year, while Miami’ s Matt Bosher enters the game just 5/8.
The keys to the game are fairly obvious for the Blue Devils:
TURNOVERS: Both QBs have been plagued by interceptions this year, and the team that takes care of the football will win this game.
BIG PLAYS: Duke has been burned by several big plays, including 2 in their last contest against Maryland. Miami has the athletes capable of torching the Blue Devils if given the chance.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Miami features two explosive returners in Travis Benjamin and Lamar Miller. Both have already returned kicks for touchdowns this year, and will be looking to do so again if the Blue Devils have any lapses in coverage.
The Blue Devils have given the Hurricanes a scare in recent years, forcing Miami to win the last two contests in the 4th quarter. Those Duke teams showed a mental toughness we have yet to see from the 2010 Blue Devils, but a victory over a top 25 caliber opponent would be just the boost this team needs. Duke’s overall effort has improved in recent weeks, particularly on defense, and will have to take another big step forward on Saturday to compete with “The U.”
BDN staff consensus pick – Miami 40 Duke 23
[6 AP/6 Coaches] Duke (21-4, 9-2 ACC) vs. Miami (17-8, 3-8 ACC)
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 • 7:00 p.m. • ESPN
BankUnited Center (7,200) • Coral Gables, Fla.
The Opening Tip
Duke (21-4, 9-2 ACC), ranked sixth in the AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, faces unranked Miami (17-8, 3-8 ACC) at the BankUnited Center on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN with Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale calling the action.
The Last Time Out
Duke posted its fourth straight victory with a 76-55 win over Maryland at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday. Senior Jon Scheyer scored a game-high 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, and 7-of-8 shooting from the foul line.
Brian Zoubek recorded his fourth career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. He was 7-of-10 from the field and also added two blocked shots in the win.
Juniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler also reached double figures in scoring with 14 and 10 points apiece, respectively. Smith added six assists and two steals, while Singler had six rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Blue Devils posted a 44-37 rebounding edge in the contest and scored 20 second chance points on 20 offensive rebounds. Duke has now grabbed 15 or more offensive rebounds 15 times this season.
Duke jumped out to a 40-24 halftime lead behind 19 points and five three-point field goals combined from Scheyer and Singler. Scheyer was 3-of-3 from behind the arc and had 11 points in the opening 20 minutes of play.
l Duke is ranked sixth in the AP poll, marking the 51st consecutive week ranked in the top 10. The Blue Devils are 94-28 all-time when ranked sixth in the AP poll.
l Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are the top scoring trio in the NCAA at a combined 53.2 points per game. The threesome has accounted for 31 of Duke’s 32individual games with 20 or more points scored.
l Jon Scheyerleads the ACC in four statistical categories and is the only player in the league to rank in the top 5 in six statistical categories; scoring (second, 19.2 ppg.), assists (fourth, 5.4 apg.), free throw percentage (first, .890), three-point field goals (first, 2.8 3pg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 3.12:1) and minutes (t-first, 36.6 mpg.).
l Kyle Singler is averaging a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game and is attempting to become just the third Blue Devil (joining Mike Gminski & Shelden Williams) to lead the team in rebounding as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
l Jon Scheyer has scored 20+ points in five of the last seven games. He is tied for first in the ACC with 12 games with 20 or more points.
l Brian Zoubek ranks third in the ACC in offensive rebounds (3.2 orpg) and 15th in total rebounds (6.6 rpg.), while playing just over 15 minutes per game. He is coming off a career-best 17-rebound (eight offensive boards) effort in 22 minutes on Saturday against Maryland. Zoubek ranks among the national leaders with 17.1 rebounds per 40 minutes played.
l Jon Scheyer is averaging 22.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game over the last four games. He is shooting 52.4 percent (13-of-24) from three-point range in that span. Scheyer has topped the 20-point mark in four straight contests and leads the ACC with 13 games with 20 or more points.
l Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer are a combined 28-of-50 (.560) from three-point range in the last four games. The Blue Devils are shooting 45.6 percent (31-of-68) from behind the arc during that stretch.
l Duke has grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds in each of the last two games and is averaging 14.8 orpg. for the year. The Blue Devils are averaging 15.8 second chance points per game and are 20-2 when scoring more second chance points than their opponent.
Checking in on …
#2 Nolan Smith – +9.2 ppg. increase from a year ago leads the ACC … shooting a career-best 41.0 percent from three-point range … second on the team with 10 games with 20+ points scored … double figures in 22 of 23 games played
#5 Mason Plumlee – Second on the team with 17 dunks … fourth with 17 blocks … season-high nine rebounds vs. North Carolina
#12 Kyle Singler – 22 double-figure scoring games this season … attempting to lead the Blue Devils in rebounding for the third straight year … averaging 18.2 points per game in the last six contests … 21 three-point field goals in that span
#20 Andre Dawkins – Fourth on the team with 28 three-point field goals … shooting 39.4 percent from three-point range
#21 Miles Plumlee – Leads the team with 27 dunks … shooting 56.9 percent (62-of-109) from the field
#30 Jon Scheyer – 20+ points in five of the last six games … ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in nine statistical categories … leads the league in minutes, free throw percentage, three-point field goals and assist-to-turnover ratio … league-high 13 games with 20 or more points … named ACC Player of the Week on Monday
#34 Ryan Kelly – 14 blocked shots … one of five Blue Devils with 10+ blocks
#42 Lance Thomas – Leads the Blue Devils with 11 charges taken … 5 or more rebounds in seven of the last eight games
#55 Brian Zoubek – Four or more offensive rebounds 10 times … 13th player under Coach K with 15