The Duke Blue Devils (4-3, 1-2 in ACC) head to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Miami Hurricanes (3-3, 1-1 in ACC) on Saturday, October 22nd. The game will be played at 12:30pm on ESPN3/Regional Networks (or streaming out of Quebec illegally).
Miami is a two score favorite per DraftKings, who are giving the ‘Canes a 9 point edge on Sunday.
Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, the Hurricanes are the 49th best team in FBS. Miami’s offense is 57th, defense 47th, and kicking game is 18th. Duke is 75th overall, 60th on offense, 88th on defense, and 62nd in kicking.
The Blue Devils are scoring 32.9 PPG (49th in FBS), and allowing 22.3 PPG (39th in FBS). Miami is scoring 30.7 PPG (61st) and allowing 20.5 (28th). The points per play edge goes to Duke who is 47th in PPP, while Miami is 109th of 131 FBS programs.
The Devils are 58th in penalties per game with six per game, while Miami is 109th with 7.8 after that Mental Toughness disaster against Virginia Tech.
Duke gave UNC quite the scare on Saturday, but eventually the Tar Heels moved to 6-1 with a 38-35 win. Duke was 4-of-9 on 3rd down but 0-for-2 on 4th down. Duke managed to rush for 7.1 yards per carry and four scores, while Riley Leonard averaged 7.9 yards per attempt with a TD and an INT. The Devils sacked Drake Maye three times and hurried him twice.
QB Riley Leonard isn’t a household name but he’s played well for Mike Elko thus far. He’s nothing flashy, but Leonard has averaged 7.9 yards per attempt with nine TD’s and four INT’s this year.
Where he worries me is on the ground. Including sacks, Leonard has rushed for 420 yards and five TD’s, on 6.6 yards per carry. I hope Corey Flagg Jr. and the linebackers are ready to chase this guy down all game.
Duke’s backs, Jordan Waters and Jaylen Coleman combine for 670 yards and 10 more rushing TD’s. They average over five yards per carry. Miami’s strength so far has been rushing defense but not even UNC has carried the ball this well in ‘22.
Another concern is how many Duke receivers have over 14 yards per catch. Duke has six guys over 14YPC, but only two that have 10 or more receptions on the year. Jordan Moore, Jaylon Calhoun and Eli Pancol are the leading receivers.
Above- In season’s past, Power Read has been an issue for Miami. I do believe Kevin Steele has the defensive line and linebackers coached up better than Diaz did, but, some of those safety rotations have been iffy.
Above- Leonard’s big ACC Moment run on QB Draw. This one doesn’t bode well for Miami.
Above- He looks like a damn track athlete with his sprint form, too. BUDDY. Oh well, he was! Three-sport athlete in high school and good DNA between his dad and uncle.
Above- I hope the corners are ready because Leonard plays that Maye style of football. Kind of like Van Dyke but much more athletic.
Above- Shallow crossing routes, exactly how I would beat Miami. Force those LB’s and Safeties to run around and either stay in man for 50 yards or pass off threats.
The Blue Devils defense has 300 pound defensive lineman DeWayne Carter leading the team in TFL’s with six, and sacks with 2.5. Carter also has two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles, a PBU, and a touchdown. Defensive end R.J. Oben has 3.5 TFL’s and two sacks of his own.
Six-Four linebacker Shaka Heyward has 51 tackles and six PBU’s. Watch for Carter to plug up the middle and Obin and Heyward to get in the throwing lanes of Tyler Van Dyke in this one.
Stout plus length could lead to issues for the offensive line and Van Dyke, like it did against MTSU. Duke only has two interceptions all season but two players with six PBU’s and another two with four a piece. I don’t think Miami can run on Duke’s defense in this one.
Above- Drake Maye is great at throwing deep balls, Tyler Van Dyke is good at them. Miami needs great Van Dyke not bleh Van Dyke to show up and hit these early like against VT.
Above- This is the kind of thing I worry about for Miami. Carter dominating the Miami OL and giving Van Dyke pressure up the middle, while Heyward comes off the edge.
Above- Instead of trying to run it three times going no where down in the red zone, how about mesh rail? Fielder will be happy. We’ll all be happy if Miami scores (well, maybe not all of us). It’s a bit janky in the GIF but there are simpler, cleaner versions.
Above- Where is the player with the hubris and skill to back it up like Caleb Hood? Dude was waiving for this ball when he was blanket covered and made the play.
Above- Duke struggles to tackle a thumper. Thad Franklin needs to get a few more touches on concepts like split zone. It’s a one cut and pound type of play.
Per ESPN, Miami has a 79.2% win expectancy. I don’t believe in the transitive property game in college football. Duke playing UNC closer in a loss than Miami’s loss to the Tar Heels is meaningless- any given Saturday.
The Canyonero keys to victory from the summer were:
1- Do your job. As Bill Belichick says and Nick Saban has borrowed, DO YOUR JOB. Duke has crawled up from 119th in pre-season SP+ all the way to 75th and a win over Miami could move them into the top 65, or better. A huge issue on many of the defensive mishaps for Miami, especially in coverage, has been guys playing hero ball. Avantae Williams, James Williams and Kam Kinchens have all been egregiously guilty of playing hero ball.
2- Protect the QB. Duke has just 13 sacks in seven games but this can’t be the one where they come alive. The Miami offensive line has been about as injured as the team’s running backs, and that’s saying something under Mario Cristobal and Aaron Feld. The starting five and availability of the top-8 is hit or miss depending on the game day tweets.
3- Win the kicking game. The Duke return game could be deadly if Lou Hedley can’t corner kick their punt returners and if Andres Borregales can’t hit touchbacks on every kick. The Devils punt returners Shamir Hagans and Jalon Calhoun average 46.3 and 13.6 with a TD.
The four guys who have returned kickoffs are averaging 26.4, 26.3, 20, and 24 yards per return. This isn’t the week to have an off day on kickoffs or punts. Duke kicker Charlie Ham is perfect on PAT’s but only 5-of-9 on field goals. Punter Porter Wilson is averaging 43.6 yards per punt.
Miami’s kick returners have been unreal, with Keyshawn Smith and Brashard Smith averaging 34.4 and 39 yards per kick return with one TD. The punt returners are still an issue with both guys under 10 yards per return. Miami needs big KOR’s to get the offense going.
Prediction: My pre-season prediction was Miami by 28 and I am NOT standing on that score. Miami by 10 seems like a safer data point I’m going to go with in-season. This will come down to whether or not Miami can keep Leonard from rushing for 100+ yards, and if Van Dyke can throw on Duke’s back seven.