clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Virginia Tech Football: Previewing The Duke Offense

New, 5 comments

A first look at the Blue Devils offense the Hokies will face when they travel to Durham.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Coordinator: Scottie Montgomery

Offensive Scheme: Multiple

Scoring Offense: 34.8 PPG (31st nationally)

Passing Offense: 204.3 YPG (88th nationally)

Rushing Offense: 199.56 YPG (38th nationally)

Quarterbacks:

Duke is lead by redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Boone, who has started for the Blue Devils since 2011. The 6'0", 225 pound Boone doesn't jump off the page in stature or statistics, but has confidently guided Duke to an 8-1 record this season.

Boone is an athletic, mobile quarterback, who when out of the pocket can make a positive play with his arm or legs. Through nine game he has completed 181 of his 311 pass attempts, and thrown for 1789 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.

As a rushing quarterback, Boone isn't in the same class as some of the opposing quarterbacks that have torched the Virginia Tech defense this season. However, he is effective, having rushed for 247 yards on 49 attempts with four touchdowns. And as the Hokies have shown in 2014, if they give even a modest rushing quarterback a yard, they can run for 100.

Running Backs:

The bread and butter of the Duke offense is their running game, which ranks 38th nationally. the Blue Devils employee a committee of running backs to carry the load, lead by freshman Shaun Wilson. Standing at only 5'9" Wilson uses his small stature and speed to shake many would be tackles. Whether rushing or catching a pass out of the backfield, Wilson is a threat to turn a "nothing" play into a big gain.

This season Wilson has rushed for 535 yards on 58 attempts with four touchdowns. Along with Wilson the Duke backfield also features junior Shaquille Powell (376 yards, two touchdowns) and senior Josh Snead (315 yards, two touchdowns). The Blue Devils ace in the hole is backup quarterback Thomas Sirk. Sirk has only attempted 12 passes in 2014, but has rushed 29 times for 192 yards and a team leading seven rushing touchdowns. He could cause the Hokies fits in short yardage and goal line situations Saturday.

Receivers:

Senior receiver Jamison Crowder is the clear cut favorite target of Anthony Boone. The 5'9", 175 pound Crowder has twice as many receptions as any other Duke receiver with 58 for 694 yards. Crowder's four touchdowns rank second on the receiving corps, one behind the team leading senior Issac Blakeney who has hauled in five scores.

Crowder's small frame doesn't lend itself to winning many jump balls, but he makes up for it with his speed and route running. His ability to read an opposing defense allows him to run efficient routes, and often explode past his cover to the ball. Blankley is second on the team in receptions with 29, and junior Max McCaffrey is just behind him with 27, while also adding three touchdowns for the Blue Devils.

Outlook:

Duke doesn't possess an overpowering offense, but they do present worrisome match ups for the Virginia Tech defense. Boone does enough as a dual threat quarterback to challenge the Hokies, and his backup Sirk could be a short yardage nightmare. For Hokies fans wondering which Blue Devil could wreak havoc this week, look to the backfield and running back Shaun Wilson. If the front seven can't contain the dangerous freshman he could have a performance reminiscent of Miami's Duke Johnson three weeks ago.