It’s been a couple years since the Virginia Tech Hokies were a serious BCS contender and they lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the Sugar Bowl in 2011. However, they have an opportunity to become a dark-horse contender for yet another BCS bowl.
On the other side of the field, the Duke Blue Devils are not considered a serious football team, but in recent years, the program has seen its football stock jump a bit. Sitting at 5-2 and 1-2 in the conference, Duke probably won’t be winning a conference title this season, but making another bowl game is a huge step in the right direction.
Virginia Tech does not have a solid offense, but the Hokies make up for everything defensively. Logan Thomas leads the 82nd-ranked passing offense with 1,451 yards and nine touchdowns. Although that may seem like a solid stat line, the senior quarterback is completing just 55 percent of his passes and has six touchdowns. There is really no note-worthy aspect of this offense as the run game ranks 106th nationally. Running back Trey Edmunds has struggled this season, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and scoring just four touchdowns through seven games.
Duke is a much better offensive team, on paper, than the Hokies, ranking in the top-half nationally in most offensive categories. The Blue Devils have been taking care of business in the pass game with somewhat of a dual-quarterback situation on offense. Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette have combined for 1,884 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year while Connette is the dual-threat QB with over 200 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Jamison Crowder is the team’s leading receiver in nearly every category, catching 56 passes for 731 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Hokies have one of the best overall units in the nation. Ranking fifth in the nation in points allowed per game as well as third in yards allowed per game, this team has no problem stopping the opposition from putting together a solid drive. The Blue Devils rank 50th nationally in points allowed per game with just over 24 and 69th in yards allowed per game with 416.
Duke will travel to Virginia Tech to take on the Hokies at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
PREDICTION: Duke 17, Virginia Tech 24