Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1) at Duke Blue Devils (2-2)
Time: Noon EDT
Date: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009
Place: Lane Stadium South Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
TV: None (Feed available on ESPN360.com)
Duke: The Blue Devils are one of three ACC to begin the season with four consecutive non-conference games (NC State and Maryland) ... Duke has wins over Army and NC Central and losses to Richmond and Kansas ... through those four non-conference games, Duke has averaged 29.0 points and 5.2 yards per play and allowed 25.3 points per game and 5.1 yards per play ... Thaddeus Lewis is in his fourth year as Duke's starting quarterback but is being challenged by freshman Sean Renfree ... Renfree made his debut in Duke's win over Army and completed 7 of 8 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns ... in the last two games Lewis has thrown 52 passes and Renfree 35 ... expect to see both on Saturday.
Trends: The Hokies have won three consecutive games after losing their first game of the season to Alabama ... Duke has alternated losses and wins in its first four games ... Virginia Tech has lost three consecutive conference road games ... it has won its previous seven conference road games ... Duke has lost 32 of its last 33 ACC games.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech has won its last eight consecutive games against Duke and has won nine of the last 10 against the Blue Devils ... Duke won the previous six games to begin the series, making the Hokies 9-7 all-time against Duke ... the Hokies have out-scored the Blue Devils 179-34 in five games since the Hokies joined the ACC.
What to Expect
- Expect the Hokies to have success running the ball. Maybe not the same success they enjoyed against Marshall, but success none the less. Duke gave up over 4.5 yards per carry against both Army and Kansas.
- Expect the Hokies' secondary to be tested. It may be "just Duke" but Lewis and Renfree are solid quarterbacks. The Hokies were lucky that Lewis was out last year or else the unthinkable could have happened instead of a 14-3 Tech win.
- Expect non-offensive touchdowns. The Blue Devils have two interceptions this year, both returned for touchdown and three fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Two of the Blue Devils' three interceptions thrown this year have been taken back for a touchdown.
- Expect to see more of David Wilson. Wilson hasn't been used much against BCS opponents Alabama, Nebraska and Miami this year. But I expect him to get his opportunities against Duke.
- Expect to see a lot of orange and maroon at Saturday's game.
Hokies win if: They start to get consistency on offense we were hoping they'd have this year and the secondary plays well.
Blue Devils win if: They force just as many turnovers as they did in last year's game, get a big game from their quarterbacks and establish something resembling a running game.
Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies were No. 77 in the country in total defense going into the Miami game, they are now No. 38 ... Ryan Williams ranks No. 6 in the country in rushing, averaging 123.0 ypg ... he leads the ACC, ahead of No. 2 Jonathan Dwyer who is averaging 81.5 yards per game ... Brent Bowden still leads the league in punting, averaging 45.0 yards per punt ... despite the downpour, he still averaged over 40 yards per punt against Miami.