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Virginia Tech and Duke Capsule

Virginia Tech travels to Duke.

Brett Carlsen

Duke is currently ranked No. 19 in the coaches poll and comes into a home draw with the Hokies on a major roll.

The Blue Devils (8-1, 4-1 ACC) have once again taken the position Tech once occupied as the lead team in the ACC Coastal Division. The Hokies have a losing record while Duke is ranked. Times have changed.

Duke is at a level of conference dominance Tech enjoyed during the early 2000s. The Hokies (4-5, 1-4 ACC) have lost three straight as injuries and inconsistency continue to hamper the effort. With three regular season games remaining, Tech has to win two out of three against Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia.

Not much has gone right for the Hokies recently. Now more negative news Tuesday with news of another significant injury.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>ICYMI: <a href="">#Hokies</a> RT Jonathan McLaughlin will have ankle surgery on Thursday and miss the rest of the football season. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) <a href="">November 11, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

That means converted defensive tackle Wade Hansen from Troy, New York starts at right tackle.Hansen is a junior walk-on and a transfer to Tech from Division III.

Both Wake Forest against Clemson and Virginia against Florida State showed that Tech has its work cut out. A win against Duke would be a huge start. It would likely bring a needed boost of energy to a program severely lacking it.

The Hokies are in for a big challenge at historic Wallace Wade Stadium. It's a fun little classic stadium set for a major renovation in the near future.

Make no mistake, Duke football is becoming big time while Virginia Tech is searching for an identity. It's an odd shift, but it's the kind of parity that makes college football so much fun.

It should be a good game this weekend, even if many Tech fans have already checked out.