2013 Virginia Tech Football: Duke Game Guide

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) vs. Duke Blue Devils (5-2)

Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
Place: Blacksburg, Va.
Stadium:
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
(Cap: 65,632, Open: 1965, Field: Bermuda)
TV: ESPNU
Radio: VT IMGXM 194, Sirius 112
Spread: Virginia Tech -13.5
Weather: High of 52, 0% Chance of Rain

Duke: The Blue Devils visited Charlottesville to play the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday, winning 35-22 and scoring 35 unanswered points to end the game. The Cavaliers struck first just minutes into the first quarter on a Kevin Parks run from 1-yard out. Parks repeated that exact result on the Cavaliers last drive of the first quarter, giving the home team a two touchdown cushion. Parks found the end zone again on a 13-yard touchdown pass from David Watford midway through the second quarter, and the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt was successful, ballooning the Cavaliers' lead to 22-0. But that's where the fun stopped for the Wahoos. Duke punched it in right before half, scoring on a 6-yard pass from Anthony Boone to Jamison Crowder. That seized the momentum for the Blue Devils, who kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 12 midway through the third quarter and then added a Brandon Connette rushing touchdown from 6 yards out less than two minutes later to cut it to a 5-point game. Despite still trailing entering the fourth quarter, it belonged all to Duke, who scored on a 47-yard pass from Brandon Connette to Braxton Deaver minutes into the fourth, giving the Blue Devils a 1-point lead. Instead of kicking the PAT, David Cutcliffe did the correct thing by going for two, and after Anthony Boone connected with David Reeves, the visitors had a 3-point lead. Duke proceeded to add on, perhaps adding the clincher on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Boone to Braxton Deaver to make it a 10-point margin with just over four minutes remaining. Around a minute and a half later, the Blue Devils added a Ross Martin field goal, his second of the day, to provide the final margin, a 35-22 defeat of Virginia. Duke out-gained the Cavaliers 474-363, but lost the time of possession, were penalized twice as many yards (70-35) and committed the same amount of turnovers (1). Duke went just 4-16 on third down, but also went 4-4 on fourth down. Anthony Boone went 21-for-39 with 245 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception and 25 yards on the ground. Brandon Connette completed the only pass he attempted for 47 yards and a touchdown. Duke ran for 180 yards, their four-headed running back by committee combining for 150 of those yards.

Trends: Virginia Tech won the last game in the series, in 2012, 41-20 at home. Due to an altering of the ACC's schedule, the Blue Devils will visit Lane Stadium again this year. In last year's game, Duke jumped out to a 20-0 lead before the Hokies poured on 41 unanswered to close the game. Duke scored on their first possession, on a 62-yard pass from Sean Renfree to Jamison Crowder that badly burned Kyle Fuller. After two field goals on their next two possessions, a Logan Thomas pass to the flats was tipped up in the air by Tony Gregory and Jordon Byas picked it off and returned it 20 yards for the score and put the Blue Devils up 20-0. The Hokies finally got on the board with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter on a 4-yard Martin Scales run to make it 20-7. Tech cut the lead to 10 late in the second quarter on a 37-yard Cody Journell field goal. After an interception, the Hokies scored again before half on a 42-yard Logan Thomas pass to Marcus Davis, cutting it to a 3-point lead at 20-17. On its first possession of the third quarter, J.C. Coleman housed it from 45-yards, giving the Hokies a 24-20 lead from which they would never look back. On their next possession, Tech scored on the long pass again, this time a 47-yard pass from Logan Thomas to Marcus Davis to give the Hokies a 31-20. Tech added a 41-yard Journell field goal to close out the third quarter and give Tech a two touchdown lead. But the scoring wasn't over quite yet, as J.C. Coleman scored on an 86-yard run early in the fourth to give the Hokies a 41-20 lead and provide the final margin. Tech rushed for a season-high 269 yards and 525 yards of total offense. Duke passed for 307 yards and finished with 329 yards of total offense. The Hokies won the turnover battle 2-to-1, but lost in time of possession by less than a minute. Tech also recorded 5 sacks. The win also marked Beamer's biggest comeback (from a total points standpoint) in his tenure at Virginia Tech.

History Lesson: The following information is all provided via Hokiesports.com. The Hokies lead the all-time series 13-7, going 9-6 against the Blue Devils in conference and are 7-0 against Duke at Lane Stadium. Nine of the Hokies' games against the Blue Devils have come under Frank Beamer. The Hokies won their last game over the Blue Devils 41-20 last season. The Hokies have won the last 12 games in the series dating back to 1982. Tech is 8-4 against the Blue Devils in the month of October. Beamer is 5-0 against sixth-year Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe. The Hokies are 6-0 in the series when they are ranked. Virginia Tech lost the first six games of the series, the first coming in 1937 by the score of 25-0. The average score of the series is a 23-18 Virginia Tech advantage. Both teams have been shut out in the series multiple times. Saturday's game marks only the eighth time the Blue Devils will have visited Lane Stadium. Tech is 60-15 all-time in ACC conference games, including a 31-7 mark in home ACC games (rankings data dates back to 1950, the earliest year of Hokiesports' poll of choice, the Coaches' Poll).

What to Expect

  • Duke runs a multiple offense
  • Defensively, the Blue Devils play out of the 4-2-5.
  • The Blue Devils rank No. 40 nationally in total offense with 452.1 yards per game. They are also scoring 35.7 points per game, which ranks No. 31 nationally.
  • Duke ranks No. 41 in passing offense with 269.4 yards per game through the air.
  • The Blue Devils rank No. 52 nationally with 182.7 yards per game on the ground.
  • Defensively, the Blue Devils are giving up 383.1 yards per game, good for No. 54 nationally. They also are No. 50 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 24.3 points per game.
  • In rushing defense, Duke is No. 70 nationally, allowing only 166.9 yards per game. Through the air, they've allowed 216.3 yards per game, good for a No. 45 ranking in the nation.
  • Anthony Boone has passed for 815 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions so far this season, though has missed a couple of games. Brandon Connette, his backup, has thrown for 1,069 yards and 12 touchdowns with 6 interceptions.
  • Running backs Jela Duncan, Josh Snead, Juwan Thompson and Shaquille Powell have split the carries so far this season, and have combined for 955 yards and 5 TD's.
  • Jamison Crowder is far and away Duke's leading-receiver this year. He has 56 receptions for 731 yards and 3 touchdowns so far this year.

Hokies Win If: They are able to stop Duke's surprisingly-potent offense and run the ball.

Blue Devils Win If: They are able to score early and often, get up on the Hokies like last year and can run the clock with their improved running game.

Dot-dot-dots: The triple-overtime win over Marshall was win No. 700 for the program. The Hokies are one of only 15 teams in the FBS to have that many wins. Frank Beamer is in sixth place all-time in wins among FBS coaches with 264. He needs 35 more to pass Joe Paterno, who now stands at 298 wins after 111 wins were vacated from his record. Individually, Logan Thomas is now the all-time leading-passer in Virginia Tech history in both passing attempts (1,o67), completions (588) and career passing yardage (7,547 yards). In the win over Georgia Tech, Thomas moved into third place all-time at Virginia Tech in wins for a quarterback with 22. He now has 24 and needs two more wins to move into a tie for second place all-time with Bryan Randall with 26 wins. Thomas became the all-time in passing yards in Virginia Tech history against North Carolina, passing Tyrod Taylor. Thomas also passed Bryan Randall for second place in total yardage in Tech history in the win over Georgia Tech, and stands at 8,719 yards, needing just 495 yards to pass Tyrod Taylor (9,213 yards) for first all-time in total yardage. In the win over Georgia Tech, Thomas also moved into a tie with Tyrod Taylor for first place all-time in rushing touchdowns among Virginia Tech quarterbacks, with 23. Thomas also has 46 passing touchdowns, good for third all time at Tech, just two behind Bryan Randall for the all-time record and one behind Maurice DeShazo for second place with 47. Kyle Fuller tops the ACC with 10 passes broken up. He also leads the conference in passes defended with 12. A.J. Hughes leads all ACC punters with the most punts inside the 20 (13) and of the 50+ yard variety (15). The Hokies defense is No. 3 in the nation with 13 interceptions. Tech also ranks No. 1 nationally with 3.86 sacks per game. Tech's +9 turnover margin is tops in the ACC and seventh in the nation. The Hokies are 13-4 all-time on October 26.

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