The Opposing 5: Breaking Down Duke With The Devils Den's Adam Rowe

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomas1996 | Sep 27, 2019
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

As we continue on this fall, we're expanding our pregame football coverage with a weekly breakdown of Virginia Tech's opponent with someone covering that opponent. Every week, we'll ask 5 questions that hopefully provide great insight into that week's opponent plus we'll have our guest make a pick.

This week, we have Adam Rowe of The Devils Den at 247 Sports. Adam is one of the most-respected college sports writers in the state of North Carolina and we are very thankful that he has joined us to provide insight into Duke.

With that said, here's Adam's insight into Duke ahead of tonight's important ACC Coastal game.

1. How has the offense changed under Quentin Harris compared to Daniel Jones?

Not a whole lot, other than a triple option wrinkle that Duke has employed through the first three weeks of the season. The one big change this year is that Duke has a thin tight ends position group and has relied more on their big wide receivers in the passing game than the tight ends like they have preferred to in the past.

2. What's the key to keeping a Duke offense that has scored 40+ points their past 2 games in check?

Duke's Offensive Line has allowed just one sack (tied for second nationally) and seven tackles for loss (first nationally) so getting pressure on Quentin Harris and forcing him in to bad decisions will be the best way to disrupt a Duke offense that has clicked against relatively subpar competition the last two weeks.

3. How does Duke's defense match up against Virginia Tech's offense?

Duke's defense has been able to get behind the line of scrimmage, but other than last weekend have had trouble taking down opposing quarterbacks. If the Virginia Tech O-Line is able to provide enough protection for Ryan Willis and/or Hendon Hooker, they should be able to put up points on a Blue Devils' secondary that was susceptible to the pass in Week One against Alabama.

4. Who is the x-factor for Duke in this game?

Duke has been looking to get Deon Jackson going in the run game, and if Virginia Tech's cornerbacks are able to keep the Blue Devils' wide receivers at bay, they'll need Jackson to keep the defense on their heels.

5. What are the keys to the game for Duke?

Having Quentin Harris not be too disrupted by Bud Foster's defense and making it through his progressions with time.

Prediction: Duke 24, Virginia Tech 21