TV Schedule: Saturday, September 26, 12 p.m., ET, ESPN2
Location: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Line: Georgia Tech (-7.5)
After scoring 60-plus points in their first two games the No. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-1) went into Notre Dame Stadium to the face No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0) as the favorite. The Irish were expected to struggle with backup quarterback DeShone Kizer in the game. That was not the case as he had a solid game en route to a 30-22 Notre Dame win. Their vaunted triple option was held to 216 rushing yards. Star QB Justin Thomas had two TDs but the rest of his day went badly. He only completed 8 of 24 passes and had 27 rushing yard on 11 carries.
After two cupcakes to open the season, the Duke Blue Devils (2-1) struggled to score against the No. 23 Northwestern Wildcats (3-0). They lost 19-10 at Wallace Wade. It wasn’t because of their defense. Outside of a 55-yard TD run, the defense played a great game. They are ranked third best against the run in the conference. Something that will come in helpful against the triple option. The mediocre offense is getting some much needed help on Saturday with the return of redshirt-junior RB Jela Duncan. Duncan missed all of last season due to an academic suspension but combined for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 and 2013. Duke hopes to now move to the three back rotation they had planned on from the onset of the season with sophomore Shaun Wilson and senior Shaquille Powell.
Last season was one of the best in Duke football history. It was capped off by their stunning 31-25 road upset of No. 22 Georgia Tech on their way to an ACC Coastal Division title. That was last year.
This year Georgia Tech will go on the road to Duke looking for revenge. Justin Thomas played the worst game of his career in the upset. He will want a huge game. Georgia Tech certainly won’t take their foot off the gas. It will be closer than people think. But Duke doesn’t have enough offense.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 21, Duke 13.