Since Duke is later in the season and a Coastal opponent, we can look at common opponent performances for our respective squads. The Dukies played VT close in what's turned out to be an incredibly important Coastal game. They struggled against a foundering UVA and were blown up by UNC, which GT manhandled. So let's look at how GT and Duke fared against these three teams in our preview today. Please keep in mind I'm a little stoned on antihistamines.
A look at the yards per carry (YPC) shows that Duke had little to no legit rushing attack against the Hokies, 'Hoos, and 'Heels. In fact, the only major offensive statistics that the Dukies beat the Jackets were completion percentage and yards per pass attempt. Even then, Tech fans don't really care about either of those statistics as it has little to no relevance in our offense's success. The issue we should take from this, however, is that the Dukies will throw the short to intermediate high completion percentage passes against our defense. We should be prepared for a Wake Forest style attack.
The big difference between Duke and Wake is the experience of the offensive lines. Wake had all seniors and juniors on their OL. Duke's offensive line has a single senior and two underclassmen starting. This is why they can't run the football to save their lives. They are dead last in the ACC at 39.40 yards per ACC game rushing. Abysmal. Our pass defense should be prepared to play. Duke literally has no rushing offense.
I think it's pretty obvious why we won the three games in question. Touchdowns given up and 3rd Down Conversion %. Duke is actually doing a pretty good job of stopping the big play but they've not been able to get the opposing offense off the field all season. In losses, the Dukies have given up 48.33% of their opponents' third down conversions, which is just shy of Georgia Tech's ACC game average. I think GT just needs to play our VT game plan of pounding the ground and burning up the clock. If we score quickly, I have a feeling Duke will answer quickly with their passing attack. The second half will see a worn down Duke defense giving up big plays in the running game.
Overall Thoughts and Predictions
The above table is why I think we'll beat the Dukies down. The Dukies have negative net points against our common three opponents while Tech has soundly defeated all three. VT was close score-wise for us but statistically we laid the wood on the Hokies. If GT has a problem with the Blue Devils, then we don't deserve to win the Coastal.
Bird: Tech 40, Puke 14.
Winfield: The Dookies put up 14 points in the first half and then 3 in the 2nd half. Tech puts up 30 in the first half and then 24 in the 2nd half. We don't let up because on saturday, WE CLINCH! Tech 54 Duke 17.
Dane: Tech 38, Duke 17