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2011 Virginia Tech Football: Duke Game Guide

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Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1, 3-1) at Duke Blue Devils (3-4, 1-2)

Time: 12:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011
Place: Durham, NC
Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium
(Cap: 57,500, Open: 1929, Field: Bermuda)
TV: ACC Network
Radio: VT IMGXM 191Sirius 113
Spread: Virginia Tech -14.5
Weather: High of 62, 10% Chance of Rain

Duke: The Blue Devils have lost back-to-back games, both to ACC opponents, after falling late to Wake Forest last week 24-23. After falling behind 17-0, Duke fought back to take a 23-17 lead thanks to two TD runs by back-up quarterback Anthony Boone and three field goals by Will Snyderwine. However, after Snyderwine made a chip shot to give them a six-point lead, the Devils gave up a 66-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens on the first play of the ensuing drive.

Trends: Virginia Tech has won 10 consecutive true road games, including seven against ACC opponents. Duke has lost its last four ACC home games and seven of its last eight ACC home games. The Hokies are 1-6 against the spread against FBS teams this year (covered against Wake) while Duke is 3-3 against the spread against FBS teams. 

History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 11-7 all-time against Duke, 4-2 in Durham and 7-0 under Frank Beamer. The Hokies have won 10 consecutive games against the Blue Devils and haven't lost to them since 1981. Tech won last year's meeting in Blacksburg 44-7 despite getting just 99 rushing yards on 30 carries from its running backs. Tyrod Taylor and Logan Thomas combined for 332 passing yards, completing passes to nine different receivers.

What to Expect

  • Duke is another spread-formation based offense that will run out of the shotgun. However, there's somewhat of a West Coast offense look to them based on the shorter routes and getting the ball to tight ends and running backs as an extension of the running game. Also, like Clemson, you'll see a lot of I-form principles from the running game, even though it's out of the shotgun. Duke base defense is  4-2-5 nickel.
  • Expect the Blue Devils to be a very pass-heavy team against the Hokies. In six games against FBS opponents, Duke has averaged 32.5 rush attempts per game and 43.8 pass attempts. The passing attack is led by junior Sean Renfree, who is completing 67.5 percent of his passes for 6.6 ypa with six touchdowns and four interceptions against FBS opponents.
  • Expect to see the freshman Boone is short-yardage and goalline situations. This was a role previously filled by Brandon Connette, however he's missed the last five games with an upper-body injury. Boone didn't play against FIU or FSU, but returned against Wake Forest and ran the ball 11 times for 19 yards and two touchdowns. He's run the ball nine times on third down or fourth down and has six first downs and three touchdowns on those carries.
  • Expect the Blue Devils to sell out against the run. They did it each of David Cutcliffe's first three games against the Hokies and had moderate success at it. Unfortunately for Cutcliffe, Tyrod threw for 607 yards in the last two meetings. Duke will make Logan Thomas beat them.

Hokies Win If: They don't turn the ball over and keep Logan Thomas comfortable in the pocket.

Blue Devils Win If: They control the clock, wear down VT's D and don't give up big plays.

Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies have won 10 consecutive games against teams from North Carolina, eight consecutive games played in the state and 16 consecutive true road games against teams from the state ... Coaled-Blooded Danny Coale caught a career-high eight passes against Boston College ... Coale is now second on Tech's all time career catches list behind Jarrett Boykin ... David Wilson has run for over 100 yards each of the last five games ... he also eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark against BC, doing so on his 160th carry of the season, making him the fastest running back to reach 1,000 yards under Frank Beamer.