College Football

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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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Scoreboard
NBA
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
 
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
3rd
MEM 66
DEN 47
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
 
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
 
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
 
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
 
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
 
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
1st OT
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
2nd
CIN 44
UCONN 35
 
2nd
NDST 35
DEN 39
 
2nd
SD 47
MAST 62
 
2nd
UWMIL 50
ILLCH 47
 
2nd
BEL 81
JVST 56
 
2nd
SMISS 39
MARS 57
 
2nd
TXSA 51
MTST 49
 
2nd
PETE 37
RIDE 37
 
2nd
SEMIZ 49
SIUE 57
 
2nd
TENST 56
TENT 47
 
2nd
NDAK 52
WEBER 54
 
2nd
SALA 58
LALAF 56
 
Half
ARKST 38
ARKLR 37
 
Half
TROY 31
LAMON 21
 
Half
TXARL 38
UGST 34
 
1st
MURST 19
EKENT 11
 
1st
NCOL 24
IDST 23
 
1st
MIZZ 15
KENT 14
 
1st
GONZ 19
PORT 15
 
1st
UTEP 15
UAB 23
 
1st
GRCN 22
UMKC 15
 
1st
WLVRN 18
CHIST 10
 
1st
USC 2
COL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
HAW
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PEPP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
SCU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCSB
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
UTAH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
3rd
NYI 2
BOS 5
 
3rd
NYR 0
MON 0
 
3rd
PHI 4
WIN 2
 
3rd
TOR 1
ARI 1
 
3rd
FLA 2
CLB 2
 
2nd Intermission
TAM 5
DET 1
 
2nd
STL 2
NAS 2
 
1st
CAL 0
MIN 1
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA