A lot has happened since the Blue Devils beat Pittsburgh, 30-19, in their final game of the regular season. Head coach Mike Elko left to go to Texas A&M, quarterback Riley Leonard transferred to Notre Dame, and defensive tackle Aeneas Peebles transferred to Virginia Tech. Duke will be undermanned against the Trojans in the Birmingham Bowl.
The Hokies went 1-3 in non-conference games before going 5-3 in the ACC to become bowl-eligible after a 55-17 win at Virginia Thanksgiving Weekend. Since that game, Virginia Tech has got a lot of players committed to returning in 2024 and should be rather healthy for the Military Bowl. Tulane, on the other hand, had QB Michael Pratt opt out of the game and lost their head coach to Houston after the AAC Championship game.
Through the first half of the season, the Tar Heels looked like a team that was going to play in the ACC Championship game, but a loss at home to Virginia started a slide that saw them finish short of their goal of being in Charlotte. In the Duke Mayo Bowl, they get a talented Mountaineers team looking to end the season on a high note. UNC quarterback Drake May won't play after declaring for the NFL Draft, which makes this a tougher game for Mack Brown and his team.