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Duke vs. Florida State Preview

Photo by Chris Summerville

When: Saturday, October 14, 2017. 12:00 pm

Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

Television: ESPN 2

Line: Duke +6.5

Last Time: Duke 7, Florida State 45.  The Blue Devils and the Seminoles met in the 2013 ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.  The Blue Devils had just completed one of the best regular seasons in school history, going 10-2 and 6-2 in the conference.  They were no match for the future National Champions.  Duke got off to a good start on defense before Jameis Winston, Kelvin Benjamin, and Devonta Freeman flexed their muscle. The game was still scoreless at the end of the first quarter.  Breon Borders intercepted Winston twice, but the inability of the offense to get anything going against a tough GUS defense was the difference in the game.

Game Preview: Duke comes in on a two game losing streak and looking to find some sort of spark on offense. Unfortunately, Florida State is their opponent. Do not let the 1-3 record fool you, the Seminoles are talented, especially on defense.  Florida State has had a ridiculous schedule so far and hasn’t had their starting quarterback since week one.

Based on the offensive scheme and results the past few weeks we are at a point where it’s fair to question the Duke coaching staff.  This week’s gameplay for the offense will go a long way in determining what we can expect the rest of the season.  Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown have headlined a strong rushing attack that has looked great when given a chance, while Daniel Jones and his receivers have continued to struggle mightily since a strong performance against Northwestern in week 2.  Until Jones starts making better throws and decisions and the receivers start getting open, Duke must run the ball the majority of the time to have any chance of winning.  That goes for all games this season, not just Florida State.  The Seminole defense is only giving up 3.3 yards per carry on the year, but that still seems the better route to go for Duke on offense as FSU is holding opposing quarterbacks to 58% completion percentage. Those aren’t totally shutdown numbers, but they are more impressive when you consider their opponents.

Duke and Florida State do have something in common this year. Both defenses have been good enough to win every game this year, but the offense continues to hold both teams back.  FSU is averaging just 18.5 points per game. They’ve completed just 57% of their passes and are only averaging 3.6 yards per rush.  Because if the talent level this will still be a tough test for the Duke defense.  But if things go as expected this could be a low scoring, ugly game. The Duke defense should be good enough to given the Blue Devils a chance to win, but it will be up to the offense to close the deal.