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Opponent Stat Preview: Duke Blue Devils

Taking an in-depth look at the Blue Devils

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Each week at FTRS we will be providing charts, graphs, and analysis into the characteristics of how our opponent plays, not just the quality of their performances. You can view all past Opponent Previews in the Football Analytics Story Stream.

NCAA Ranks
Method GT Duke
S&P+ 47 65
FEI 11 63
FPI 47 45
Vegas GT -3

Vegas views this teams as pretty much even, favoring GT by the typical home field advantage adjustment. I am stunned to see FEI ranking GT as the 11th best team in the country right now, I think the opponent adjustments are still a little wacky right now. But both S&P+ and FPI view the teams similarly. The money line gives GT a 61% chance of winning.

When Georgia Tech Has The Ball

I'm trying some new visuals this week, let me know what you think in the comments!

Georgia Tech Passing

The following plot shows Georgia Tech's Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (ANYPA) for each game it has played. ANYPA takes your yards per pass attempt, including sacks, and gives the offense a 20 yard bonus for each passing touchdown and a 45 yard penalty for each interception. ANYPA is a great stat for reviewing how a team performed since it rewards and penalizes teams appropriately for big plays. The Blue line is Georgia Tech's performance and the red line is the average ANYPA allowed by each opponent in all their other games.


You can see that our passing game has been better than expected given our opponent in every game except Tulane. Justin Thomas hasn't been throwing too many interceptions, but I think our sacks are hurting us here. 1 sack a game isn't that bad unless you only pass the ball 7 times.

Here is the same chart for Duke's Pass Defense. Now the blue line is Duke's ANYPA allowed in each game and the red line corresponds to their opponent's average ANYPA on offense in the games they have played against their other opponents.


Duke's Pass Defense has been very good this year, holding Kansas and Tulane to negative ANYPA. However they have only faced one opponent that has an above average passing game.

Georgia Tech Running


Georgia Tech's rushing attack is one of the best in the country, and has exceeded both the NCAA average and their opponent's average Adjusted Net Yard Per Rush allowed in every game. Duke's rushing defense has been ok, and has held their last two opponents to less than an average performance. I'm still working on how these charts help us preview the game itself, but for not it just tells a story about each team's play this year.

When Duke Has The Ball

Duke Passing


Duke's Passing Offense has struggled to get going this year. Tulane's Defense isn't very good, and their average ANYPA allowed includes our awful performance against them. Tech's defense has excelled at generating turnovers, so their ANYPA looks better than a raw Yards per Pass allowed. Wether or not they can sustain is a tougher question to answer.

Duke Rushing


Our rush defense was doing no worse than you would expect given our opponents until Miami, That Duke Johnson is scary good. Duke's rushing offense seemed to be what is driving their offense until the wheels fell off against Miami. If can run the ball then I think they will give GT trouble by being able to move the chains and keep working for the big play. The bad news for Tech is that they really haven't stopped anyone from rushing the ball this year.

Duke's Defense has been good this year, but nothing special, and has certainly not played at a level that should scare our offense. I expect GT to be able to move the ball down the field often and hopefully continue to fend off turnovers. However if Duke can find a way to not force things and take what Tech gives them they may be able to flip the script on us and keep the game close. This would be a huge win for our chances of winning the Coastal, let's just hope we keep our past performance up.