After beginning the season 7-0 and ranked in the Top 10 in the nation, the Miami Hurricanes have since lost two consecutive games in blowout fashion and they have been eliminated from the ACC title race — almost. If the Hurricanes can win out and the Virginia Tech Hokies lose one more, the Hurricanes will head to the title game in a rematch with the Florida State Seminoles.
On the other side of the field, the Duke Blue Devils are also 7-2 and looking to make an appearance in the conference title game by winning the ACC Coastal division. Duke has had a surprisingly hot start to the season and are a dark-horse contender to win the season.
Miami ranks 36th in the nation in passing yards per game behind the strong arm of Stephen Morris. Although Morris can be inconsistent at times, he has still managed to pass for 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. His downfall has been his 10 interceptions and sub-60 percent completion rate. Losing Duke Johnson for the season has put even more pressure on the senior quarterback as he has lost a force in the backfield and teams are starting to key in on the pass game. However, Allen Hurns has been solid in helping the quarterback at the wide out position, catching 37 passes for 732 yards and five scores.
Duke is one of those teams that can sneak up on serious contenders in the conference standing and break some hearts while contending for a conference title of their own. The Blue Devils have been trying out a two-quarterback system with Brandon Connette and Anthony Boone, but it looks like Connette might be the better of the two. Boone has played a lot in recent games, passing for 1,061 yards and five touchdowns, but his nine interceptions have been a problem. Connette played more at the beginning of the year, passing for 1,128 yards and 12 scores with just six picks. Jamison Crowder could care less who throws him the ball because he keeps catching passes. He has 67 catches on the season for 903 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Blue Devils rank 33rd in the nation in points allowed as well as a much lower 73rd in the country in yards allowed per contest with over 400. Miami ranks 41st in points allowed to go along with a mediocre 71st rank in yards allowed.
Miami will travel to Duke to take on the Blue Devils at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
PREDICTION: Miami 27, Duke 20