Oct 4, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Frank Beamer (R) talks with his team during a break in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Gameday is here for the Virginia Tech Hokies as they look to pull off a big upset in Durham, North Carolina against the 21st ranked Duke Blue Devils. Last year, the Blue Devils pulled off the upset in Lane Stadium over a ranked Virginia Tech team but the Hokies will look to pull the upset this time.
Now, let’s get to the predictions for this game between the Hokies and the Blue Devils from the staff of Fighting Gobbler.
The Hokies travel to Durham this weekend for a must win game to have any hope at getting to a 22nd straight bowl game. The Hokies face a Duke team determined to prove last year was not a fluke. The Blue Devils are an ACC Coastal best 8-1 and 4-1 in the conference. The Duke record is a little misgiving as their rank in the latest playoff ranking shows.
However, even with a weak schedule, Duke is not a team to be taken lightly. In recent years, the Hokies have dominated this matchup. That was the case till last year as the Blue Devils stunned the Hokies in front of the home crowd at Lane Stadium.
The Hokies look to return the favor this year in Durham. In order to get this done, the Hokies will need to return to the efficiency they showed against the Buckeyes earlier this year. Michael Brewer and his crew of freshman running mates will need to have big games and limit the mistakes they make.
However, the real key to this game is going to be the matchup of Bud Foster’s defense vs. the Duke offense, primarily Anthony Boone and Jamison Crowder. Kendall Fuller along with Andrew Motuapuaka will be counted on to stop these two offensive threats.
The Hokies need this win and they will play with an urgency that is needed in order to salvage what is left of this season. Part of me thinks this is nuts what I am about to say. The Hokies will win this game because the defense takes over the game. The Hokies win 28-24.
Sep 27, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka (54) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown on a fumble during the opening kick off against the Western Michigan Broncos at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
The Hokies come into today’s contest against the Duke Blue Devils riding a three game losing streak and are in real danger of not making a bowl game for the first time since 1992. They have been mistake prone and looked sloppy all season with the exception of the Ohio State game. Meanwhile, Duke has marched to an 8-1 record, building on last season’s surprising success.
Hokie QB Michael Brewer has improved the last few weeks and stopped being the interception machine he morphed into earlier in the season but the lack of big plays on offense and a mediocre running game have taken their toll on this Virginia Tech team. The Hokies are a very young team so hopefully they can avoid the temptation of just playing out the string and continue to play hard for legendary coach Frank Beamer.
The game is not as lopsided as it appears at first glance. Duke is favored by 6, but the Hokies have dominated the rivalry until last season’s loss but even that game was more the Hokies losing the game than Duke winning it. In addition, Duke’s 8-1 record is one of the softest in the country, riding wins against Elon, Troy, Kansas, and Tulane to make up half their win total.
If Virginia Tech can come out of their bye week and fire on all cylinders, they are certainly capable of pulling off the upset. Unfortunately for Hokie fans, I don’t see that happening. This team has gotten off to slow starts all season and then fallen short in their comeback attempt. Duke will get ahead early and stay ahead winning the game easily. Duke 31, Hokies 17.
This is going to be a very tough game for the Virginia Tech Hokies against a Duke Blue Devils team that has dominated a fairly weak schedule. Virginia Tech has dominated this series up till last season but the roles has reversed this year with Duke being the home favorite against a Virginia Tech looking to continue its bowl streak.
Duke has a very strong defense with some big time playmakers including safety Jeremy Cash and linebacker David Helton. The Virginia Tech rushing attack has struggled a lot this season but the Hokies will be hoping that it improves this week with Marshawn Williams being fully healthy now after a bye week.
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Virginia Tech’s defense will be challenge by Anthony Boone and Jamison Crowder which will do some damage but will not do that well. Duke will have a solid running game but will not be great with Virginia Tech’s defense stepping up in this game.
This will be a low-scoring, close game where fans of both teams will be nervous. However, Virginia Tech will give up a couple big running plays but Michael Brewer will do a lot of damage. However, the Hokies will not have enough production on the ground and Duke will beat the Hokies in a close one, 17-14.