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Duke (5-2) at (16) Virginia Tech (6-1)



Saturday, October 26, 3:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 16th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies get back to work following a bye week, as they welcome the Duke Blue Devils to Blacksburg for ACC action from Lane Stadium this weekend.

Frank Beamer's squad was humbled in the season-opener against two-time defending champion Alabama, falling to the Crimson Tide, 35-10. However, the Hokies haven't lost since, bringing a six-game win streak into this contest. Virginia Tech moved to 3-0 in the ACC with a 19-9 victory over Pittsburgh last time out.

Beamer likes how his team has progressed.

"I really like this football team," Beamer said. "They play hard. They play together. They've got each other's backs. We don't always play great, but we play hard. That's all you can ask. I think we've got to keep getting better. That's got to be the deal here."

David Cutcliffe has built a solid program in Durham, as Duke seeks its second straight year of bowl eligibility. The Blue Devils come into this game with a three-game win streak in tow, after posting a 35-22 road win at Virginia last weekend, moving to 5-2 overall. The win over the Cavaliers was the first for Duke in conference play (1-2).

Still, Cutcliffe believes he is instilling a winner's mentality in Durham.

"In our last 20 games, we have a winning record now over time," said Cutcliffe. "It may not sound like much to some people, but that is when you start believing you should win. Not 'can'. There is a big difference. When you start believing you should win, that's when you start winning. This 'can' stuff is bull. I have never liked that. Of course you 'can' win, but I hope we believe that we 'should' win."

Virginia Tech leads the all-time series with Duke by a count of 13-7, thanks to wins in each of the last 12 meetings.

The Blue Devils are finally getting it done on the ground and the results are impressive. Duke is averaging 35.7 ppg in 2013, on a healthy 452.1 yards per game. The passing attack is still strong at 269.4 ypg, but a renewed emphasis on the run (182.7 ypg) has given the team true balance.

Cutcliffe has two capable quarterbacks in Brandon Connette (64.4 percent passing, 1,069 yards, 12 TDs) and Anthony Boone (69.9 percent passing, 815 yards, five TDs). Regardless of who is throwing the ball, the usual target is All-ACC wideout Jamison Crowder (56 reception, 731 yards, three TDs).

The ground game lacks a workhorse, but both Jela Duncan (5.2 ypc, 47.7 ypg) and Josh Snead (6.3 ypc, 47.6 ypg) are capable. Connette adds another threat on the ground and leads the team with seven rushing scores.

The momentum the offense has created has carried over to Duke's defense, which has played well at times this season. The team is yielding 24.3 ppg, and has done a decent job against the pass (216.3 ypg).

Redshirt sophomore safety Jeremy Cash has done it all for Duke. The Ohio State transfer leads the team in tackles (66), with 7.5 TFL, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Senior end Kenny Anunike (36 tackles) is a force coming off the edge, with 10.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks.

Virginia Tech is not an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination. The team is averaging modest numbers with 23.1 ppg and 328.4 ypg.

The Tech faithful are still waiting on quarterback Logan Thomas to tap into his potential. This season has been more of the same however, with Thomas completing just 55.2 percent of his throws, for 1,451 yards, with nine TDs and six interceptions. Thomas' top target in the vertical game is Demetri Knowles (29 catches, 346 yards, 2 TDs).

A ground game that is generating just 117.6 yards per game, is led by freshman Trey Edmunds (393 yards, four TDs).

While the offense has struggled the Tech defense has once again flourished. The Hokies are among the nation's best, ranking fifth in scoring defense (15.0 ppg), sixth in rush defense (91.0 ypg), third in pass defense (165.0 ypg) and second in total defense (256.0 ypg).

Linebacker Jack Tyler leads the way in tackles with 57 stops, with 7.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks. Defensive backs Kyshoen Jarrett (40 tackles, two INTs) and Kyle Fuller (24 tackles, two INTs) are playmakers in the secondary, while J.R. Collins (32 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks), Derrick Hopkins (32 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks), James Gayle (24 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks) and Dadi Nicolas (19 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) make plays upfield.

The Hokies have won 20 straight at home against unranked opponents. Make it 21 in a row, as Tech's defense should stymie the Blue Devils and keep the visitors at arm's length throughout the contest.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 24, Duke 14

10/23 10:51:17 ET

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Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
 
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NCSU
RICH
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
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WAS 102
ATL 106
Final
MIA 97
GSW 114
Final
MIL 98
DET 86
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NOP 89
SAC 99
Final
DEN 114
CHI 109
7:00pm Tonight
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BRK
 
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GSW
 
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POR
 
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CLE
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LAC
 
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DAL
NYK
 
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TOR
 
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MIN
MIL
 
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HOU
SAC
 
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OKC
UTA
 
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SAN
IND
 
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DEN
 
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MEM
 
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UMO 21
OHIO 24
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ECU 58
FRES 52
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ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
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MIZZ 61
PURD 82
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MAR 55
HAW 62
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UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
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BUCK 58
MDES 55
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UGST 85
WCU 70
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
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ARST 71
ALA 76
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OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
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UNH 75
BU 68
 
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OU 70
CHIST 57
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TOL 79
DET 82
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CLMB 57
FD 47
 
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QUIN 50
HART 54
 
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SFLA 71
HOF 70
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HARV 84
HOU 63
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BONA 79
JST 71
 
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STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
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SYR 70
GHND 37
 
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MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
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CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
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VT 54
NIOWA 73
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WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
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TEMPL 76
PENN 67
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RUTG 50
PETE 68
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BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
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LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
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UVA 79
TENST 36
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KENT 92
TXARL 44
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FSU 66
CITA 55
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PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
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COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
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WMARY 83
WILL 49
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USB 71
WKENT 61
 
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HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
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SMU 72
ARK 78
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ARMY 80
BING 54
 
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CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
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UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
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ARZ 72
KYST 68
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OREG 63
VCU 77
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PSU 78
AKR 72
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SCST 92
CIU 55
 
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CREI 75
EILL 53
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ALAAM 61
JVST 67
 
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ABCHRIST 91
JCHR 65
 
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TXSA 57
LOYC 71
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NDST 64
MNCROOK 63
 
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NEB 80
NEOM 67
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VANDY 63
NORST 53
 
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STLU 57
NCAT 54
 
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MTST 65
NARZ 53
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TTU 75
NWST 64
 
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TULA 74
SOUTH 59
 
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ILLCH 87
STXAVIER 76
 
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TEX 78
RFLSH 46
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BRAD 52
TAMCC 38
 
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SMISS 72
TROY 70
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DRAK 73
IUPUI 60
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ARKST 58
LAM 63
 
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FLGC 62
USF 47
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COL 68
AFA 53
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IDAHO 75
BSU 86
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GRCN 64
BUF 80
 
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ORU 52
LALAF 76
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CHAR 74
MIAMI 77
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ISU 63
MD 72
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UMO 46
NW 55
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SACST 97
BRISTOL 63
 
Final
MICH 55
VILL 60
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SDST 74
PITT 57
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USC 53
CSFU 49
Final
STAN 84
DEL 47
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
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FRES
MAR
 
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CHAT
RMU
 
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EMICH
ROCH
 
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LIB
 
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AMER
 
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BEL
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NE
 
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KNST
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ECU
HAW
 
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CHAM
MIZZ
 
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CCAR
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
ELON
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CHIST
 
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DUKE
FUR
 
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PURD
 
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
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COL
GTDNS
 
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VERM
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DAVID
 
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GOUCHER
 
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LONG
 
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VT
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MNTER
 
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CLB 2
WIN 4
Final
NAS 4
LOS 3
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STL 2
OTT 3
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DAL 3
EDM 2
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ARI 3
COL 4
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ANA 3
CAL 2
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VAN 2
NJD 0
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NYI
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BUF
WIN
 
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