Duke vs. Baylor Preview

Photo: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017. 12:30 PM.

Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

Television: Raycom Sports Network

Line: Duke -14.5

Last Time: Duke 12, Baylor 7.  The only meeting on the football field between the Blue Devils and the Bears took place in 1958.  There isn’t much information out there about the game other than it being homecoming for Baylor.  Duke finished third in the ACC in 1958 and had an overall record of 5-5.

Game Preview: This game seemed a little more exciting when the matchup was first announced.  Over the last several season Baylor has been a top tier football program.  They’ve regularly finished near the top of the Big 12, put guys in the NFL, and had a Heisman winner.  But a recently uncovered sexual assault scandal within the athletic department, and centered around the football team, has turned the football program on its head.  High profile recruits have decommited and top players have transferred out leaving a roster that doesn’t come close to the collective talent we’ve seen on the field for the Bears in recent years.  Baylor is curently 0-2, sporting a home loss to FCS Liberty and a putrid performance against UTSA last week.

As bad as things have been for the Bears this season, the year couldn’t have started any better for the Blue Devils.  Daniel Jones has played like a star and the Duke defense has bullied their first two opponents.  Through the first 2 games of the season Duke is giving up an average of just 3.4 yards per play.  Opponents have only completed 49% of their pass attempts.  Baylor has only completed 43.9% of their passes so far this year and will be breaking in a new starter Saturday in Durham.  Duke already has 7 sacks as a team this year.  Look for them to bring a lot of pressure against the Bears on Saturday and try to force the new quarterback into mistakes.  Mark Gilbert and Bryon Fields have come up with three interceptions in the first two games this year and could add to that total this weekend.

Daniel Jones is coming off one of the best games of his young career after throwing for over 300 yards and rushing for over 100 yards against Northwestern.  He very well could have an even bigger game against Baylor.  Through their first two games the Bears defense is giving up an average of 301 passing yards per game and opponents are completing 73.8% of passes.  Jones has found success in the passing game all over the field.  The depth at the wide receiver position has really shown through in the first two games of 2017.  Ten different receivers have already caught multiple passes this season.  Duke will probably look to continue to force the run game before letting Jones go to work on the Baylor secondary.

All stats provided by Sports-Reference.com

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