Duke Blue Devils: Clash With Cavaliers Ahead

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Daniel Jones
DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Daniel Jones /

Following a rough loss at home to Miami, the Blue Devils look to bounce back with a win on the road at Virginia.

Duke (4-1, 1-1 ACC) appeared to be riding high with Daniel Jones at quarterback and a spotless record. Then, Miami brought the Blue Devils back down to earth with a 31-6 win at Wallace Wade Stadium.

After the drubbing brought on by the Hurricanes, Duke will need to recover this week. What many think will be an easy week may not be so simple as Virginia (3-1, 0-0 ACC) has a lot to prove this year.

Related Story: Duke Blue Devils: Rocked By Hurricanes

The Cavaliers’ Campaign Thus Far

Virginia has only one loss this season, a 34-17 defeat to the Indiana Hoosiers. However, in the Cavaliers’ three wins, the offense has appeared to be dominant. The Wahoos are averaging 31.3 points per game, and their quarterback looks to have strong footing in the pocket.

Kurt Benkert leads UVa’s offensive with 115-of-174 completion, 1,249 yards, and 10 touchdowns with only one pick. Olamide Zaccheaus is Benkert’s primary target with a team-high 30 receptions and 279 yards. Andre Levrone leads the team in receiving yards and touchdown catches with 348 and four respectively.

Jordan Ellis also provides the Hoos with stability in the running game. The Suwanee, Ga. native has scored five times on the ground with 312 rushing yards on 78 carries.

The Devils Detailed

Jones has given Duke modest success through the team’s first five games. He has 107 completions on 180 passing attempts for 1,070 yards and five scores with three picks. He also has rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries.

Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown have also seen a large workload in the Blue Devils’ running game. Wilson leads the team with 412 yards and five scores on 68 carries. Meanwhile, Brown has 62 carries on the year with 373 yards and two scores.

T.J. Rahming is Jones’ most reliable target thus far this season with a team-high 26 catches for 275 yards. Other notable receivers include Johnathan Lloyd (21 receptions, 216 yards, one TD) and Davis Koppenhaver (six catches, 51 yards, two TDs).

What a Duke Win Means

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The Blue Devils currently sit third in the ACC Costal Division behind Georgia Tech and Miami. Getting a win over Virginia would help solidify Duke’s chances of staying in the race for the shot at the conference championship. The Hurricanes already hold the tiebreaker over the Devils, so any win from this point onward will be beneficial toward that goal.

Also, the next game on the schedule is a home matchup against Florida State. Despite losing their starting quarterback for the season, the Seminoles are still one of the ACC’s top powerhouses. Though the focus of this week should be on the Cavaliers, the Blue Devils definitely have that lingering in their minds. Winning Saturday should give Duke enough momentum to make the FSU game exciting.

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