Duke: The Blue Devils are coming off perhaps their biggest win in the last 15 years, a throttling of the Virginia Cavaliers at home 42-17. Virginia led at the break, 17-14, but the Blue Devils then tallied 28 unanswered to doom the Cavaliers. Among the interesting notes in this one, Duke's starting quarterback Sean Renfree was sidelined due to injury in this one, and that Connor Vernon broke the ACC receptions record. Redshirt-sophomore Anthony Boone started in Renfree's place without missing a beat, throwing for 212 yards and 4 TD's.
Trends:The Hokies won last year's game at Duke 14-10 despite an uninspired performance and two Logan Thomas interceptions. Tech jumped out to a 7-0 lead over ten minutes into the game with a 2-yard Logan Thomas touchdown pass to Eric Martin. Duke answered early in the second quarter with a touchdown of their own on a 3-yard Durand Scott rush. Josh Oglesby, the Duke killer, put the Hokies back on top 14-7 four minutes later with a 1-yard plunge. Then the Hokies closed up shop on offense and Duke added a field goal midway through the third quarter to cut the score to 14-10. Tech was fortunate that Renfree caught the turnover bug a little more than Thomas, throwing a late interception to Barquell Rivers that sealed it. That, and well, that Duke's kicker Will Snyderwine missed three field goals. The Blue Devils are 0-8 against the Hokies since ACC expansion in 2004, though three of the last four meetings have been decided by 11 points or less.
History Lesson:Virginia Tech has played Duke a total of 19 times, eight times under Beamer. Beamer holds an 8-0 record over the Blue Devils, including a 4-0 record against Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe. The Hokies hold an 12-7 advantage over the Blue Devils all-time. The Hokies last lost to the Blue Devils in 1981, dropping a 14-7 contest in Durham. The gap between the 1984 game and the 2004 game was the longest in the series. The series dates back to 1937, when Duke walloped the Hokies 25-0 in Greensboro. The following information is all provided via Hokiesports.com. According to Hokiesports, only 6 of the 19 games in the series have been played in Blacksburg. Six have been played in Durham, and the others have all been neutral site games. The Hokies are 6-0 all-time at home against Duke. Tech is 61-19-4 all-time in Homecoming games, including a 38-7-2 mark at Lane Stadium. Tech is 21-4 in Homecoming games under Beamer, with the last loss coming to Temple in 1998.
Hokies Win If: They play Virginia Tech football. The REAL Virginia Tech football.
Blue Devils Win If: That thing above doesn't happen.
Dot-dot-dots: Virginia Tech will be wearing white helmets as part of their MAROON EFFECT! Yup, that makes sense to me. The average score in the series is a 22-18 Virginia Tech advantage. Both teams have been shutout in the series thrice. Tech is 0-1 all-time when Duke is ranked higher (I determine this by virtue of Duke receiving a vote in the AP Poll and the Hokies not receiving any votes). Tech's 3-3 start is the worst since 1992, Beamer's last losing season, when the Hokies started 2-3-1 and finished 2-8-1. With a win, Duke secures bowl eligibility.