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(24) Miami-Florida (7-2) at Duke (7-2)



Saturday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: A pair of Atlantic Coast Conference squads trending in opposite directions meet on Saturday afternoon, as the Duke Blue Devils play host to the 24th-ranked Miami-Florida Hurricanes at Wallace-Wade Stadium.

Miami appeared to be one of the nation's best teams early in the season, as it opened up with seven straight victories, rising all the way to No. 7 in the AP poll. Since that hot start, however, the Hurricanes have fallen flat with back-to-back losses. First it suffered a disappointing, albeit not surprising defeat at Florida State on Nov. 9 (41-14), then followed that up with a dud at home to Virginia Tech (42-24).

"You can't spot (Virginia Tech) 21 points like that," Miami coach Al Golden said. "We didn't get off the field well enough on third down. We didn't convert enough plays on offense. Just really disappointed in those mistakes ... There's a lot of football left. They have to get their minds right and move on."

On the other hand, Duke continues to be one of the biggest surprises in the nation. After two straight losses in mid-September, the Blue Devils have responded with five victories in a row to climb to 7-2, most recently taking down intrastate rival N.C. State at home last Saturday, 38-20. After 18 consecutive losing seasons, they are guaranteed a winning record this year and appear destined to make consecutive bowl games for the first time in program history.

"I think the most important part of it is to remember who you are and why you're better," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said of the team's recent rise. "We're not better because we strut or because we're so physically gifted that we're going to dominate anyone. We are who we are because of the process -- a process we believe deeply in. I'm very proud of their humility and I'm proud of their work ethic because I want them to take that work ethic that their learning here and apply it to the rest of their lives."

This matchup will act as an elimination game of sorts, as both teams sit at 3-2 in the ACC Coastal Division. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech also have two conference losses.

Miami has a 9-1 advantage over Duke in the all-time series, and it has never lost in Durham.

Despite gaining just 12 first downs in a 24-point effort last week, Miami still has one of the ACC's best offenses, ranking third in both scoring (35.0 ppg) and yardage (446.3 ypg).

Stephen Morris has had an up-and-down senior season, completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,979 yards with 14 touchdowns and a career-high 10 interceptions. He had a strong showing in the loss to Virginia Tech (16-of-29, 324 yards, two TDs) and doesn't seem overly concerned with his team's prospects moving forward.

"I'm not worried," Morris said. "This is a resilient team. We've been through a lot. You win some and you lose some, unfortunately, but that's the game of football. I was telling the team that we have a lot to do and a lot to still work for."

The Hurricanes suffered a huge blow when they lost star tailback Duke Johnson (920 yards, six TDs) for the season with an ankle injury. Dallas Crawford has been productive as a goal-line back with 10 touchdowns, but in a featured role last week he gained just 37 yards on 10 rushes.

Allen Hurns is a big-play threat at wide receiver, and after a 142-yard performance versus Virginia Tech, he now has 732 yards and five scores on just 37 receptions.

Defensively, Miami has been stout for the most part, allowing just 23.0 points per game, but against a lackluster Hokies offense a week ago the unit allowed 549 yards.

Denzel Perryman has made a team-high 78 tackles, while Shayon Green has 10.5 TFL, and Ladarius Gunter, Rayshawn Jenkins and Tracy Howard all have multiple interceptions.

Duke's offense has been an efficient one this season, generating 33.4 points and 409.3 yards per game.

Anthony Boone is the team's starting quarterback, although after a three- interception performance last week, he now has nine picks to go with just five touchdown passes. Brandon Connette, who started three games earlier in the season when Boone was out with injury, still figures in the mix and has played better overall with 12 passing touchdowns, eight rushing scores and six interceptions.

Jamison Crowder in one of the nation's best receivers with 67 receptions, 903 yards and three scores, but he has also returned two punts for touchdowns and has a rushing score to prove what a dynamic playmaker he can be.

Speaking of which, DeVon Edwards was a difference maker in the recent win with two interception returns for a touchdown and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score, marking the first time in the last 10 FBS seasons that a player scored three non-offensive touchdowns in a game. Edwards, who also has 31 tackles this season, has helped a defense that allows just 22.2 points per game.

There's no shortage of defensive standouts for the Blue Devils. David Helton has 90 tackles, Jeremy Cash has 78 stops to go with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries, and Kenny Anunike anchors the defensive line with 11.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks.

Duke continues to defy its naysayers with each passing week, and it has a great opportunity to knock off another strong foe in this one. Miami should be able to put forth a better defensive effort than it did a week ago, but without the extra dynamic that Johnson brought to the offense, it simply isn't the team it was earlier in the campaign. In front of the home crowd, expect the Blue Devils' season to reach new heights.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 31, Miami-Florida 28

11/14 16:04:23 ET

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Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
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7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
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Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
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CHA 106
PHO 111
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DET 106
DAL 117
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BOS 109
ORL 92
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MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
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POR 104
MIL 97
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DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
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CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
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SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
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UNT 78
LANG 65
 
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Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
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MSST 55
ARKST 69
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NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
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GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
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WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
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HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
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JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
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ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
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BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
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UMO 71
LONG 60
 
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PITT 65
MAN 56
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OSU 97
NCAT 55
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FSU 93
UNF 77
 
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TOL 83
RMU 57
 
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CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
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DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
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NCSU 83
TENN 72
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UCF 75
DET 70
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UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
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LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
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MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
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HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
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NW 67
CMICH 80
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WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
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ODU 58
UGST 54
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SMU 67
ILLCH 46
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LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
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TULSA 74
MIZST 70
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UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
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NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
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TTU 101
SCST 39
 
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DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
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STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
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STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
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MEM 83
USCU 73
 
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ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
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GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
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STAN 67
LMU 58
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BAY 66
NMST 55
 
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CIN 71
SDST 62
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AUB 80
WINT 62
 
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NMU 76
CARK 55
 
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PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
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CPSL 60
NE 58
 
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UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
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WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
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STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
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DEL
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NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
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VAN 0
DAL 2
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PIT
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PHI
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CAR
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