Duke vs FSU - Thoughts, Score Prediction, and Game Notes
Duke is back in the win column after beating NC State this past weekend by a score of 24 - 3. Duke was also coming off a bye week the previous week. What a game. The Duke defense held NC State to just 3 points! Now Duke has a huge test on the road when they travel south to Tallahassee to play #4 ranked Florida State this Saturday with a 7:30 PM kickoff. This is yet another night game for the Blue Devils. Duke is 5- 1 overall and 2 - 0 in ACC standings heading into this game with FSU who is 6 - 0 overall and 4 - 0 in ACC standings.
As of this writing, FanDuel has the line in favor of FSU at -14.5 points with an Over/Under of 49.5 points. My preseason predictions had this game as a loss for Duke. My mind still says its a loss for Duke but a close loss under the 14.5 points. However... this Duke Football team continues to surprise the college football world in season 2 of the Elko era. They show up every week for battle and are pretty much one play away from being undefeated. With that said, I am going with my heart over my mind this game. I am picking Duke to upset FSU on the road in a very close game and am taking the Under in points.
My score prediction.
Florida State 20
Keep reading below for Game Notes from Duke Sports Information
HOW TO FOLLOW  Duke (5-1, 2-0 ACC) at  Florida State (6-0, 4-0 ACC) Saturday, October 21, 2023 • 7:30 PM Tallahassee, Fla. • Doak Campbell Stadium TELEVISION • ABC RADIO • Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD GAME NOTES • Duke Notes • Florida State Notes LIVE STATS • Seminoles.com TWITTER • @DukeFOOTBALL
GAME NOTES The Blue Devils are 5-1 to start the year for the first time since 2018. Duke has started a season with five wins in its opening six games now 24 times in its 111-year program history (1930, 1933-34, 1936-41, 1943, 1949, 1952-53, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1971, 1988, 1994, 2012, 2014-15, 2018, 2023). The Blue Devils rank in the top half of the ACC in both scoring offense (31.17 ppg; 6th) and defense (9.83 ppg; 1st). They are the only ACC school averaging 30.0 points per game and allowing less than 15.0 points per outing. Duke has only allowed 59 total points in its opening six games, marking just the second time in the last 50 years the Blue Devils have held their first six opponents to fewer than 60 points combined (2015). Graduate offensive lineman Jacob Monk and redshirt sophomore linebacker Tre Freeman both earned ACC Player of the Week honors following Duke's 24-3 victory over NC State. Monk was selected as the ACC's Offensive Lineman of the Week, while Freeman garnered Co-Linebacker of the Week honors. The Blue Devils and Seminoles have faced off twice as nationally ranked foes in 1994 and 2013. In the first ranked matchup, FSU held a national mark of No. 9 and Duke No. 16 on Oct. 29, 1994. Nineteen years later on Dec. 7, 2013, FSU was ranked No. 1 in the country, while Duke held a national ranking of No. 20. LONG AND SHORT DRIVES Duke has put together 13 scoring drives of eight-plus plays, including four of 10-plus plays. Additionally, Duke has needed just two or less plays four times to find the end zone, including three times during its last outing against NC State. They scored on the first play during two drives against the Wolfpack, marking the first time doing so since Sept. 27, 2019, against Virginia Tech. SCORING BY PERIODS Since Mike Elko took the reins in 2022, Duke has registered points in every quarter in 11 of its 19 games. Additionally, Duke is outscoring its opponents in every quarter, except overtime. Score By Periods (since 2022) Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total Duke 134 190 121 169 0 614 Opponents 82 95 68 98 3 346 STAYING CONSISTENT Duke is ranked in the top-25 for the seventh straight week heading into Saturday's contest. That marks the first time since 1957 in which the Blue Devils held a national ranking in seven consecutive weeks since doing so from Sept. 21 - Nov. 23, 1957. Additionally, the Blue Devils find themselves ranked (No. 15) in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 ranking for the second time this season. They also checked in at No. 16 after games played through Sept. 23rd. NEXT MAN UP Redshirt freshman Henry Belin IV made his first career start at quarterback against NC State in place of injured starter Riley Leonard and threw a pair of touchdowns, including a 69-yard strike to redshirt senior Jalon Calhoun. He finished the night 4-of-12 passing for 107 yards with his 69-yard touchdown pass marking the longest passing score of the season for the Blue Devils. Belin IV became the first Duke starter since Zack Asack in 2008 (2-of-9 for 20 yards) against Virginia Tech to complete four or fewer passes in a game. Additionally, he is the first Blue Devil starter to complete four or fewer passes in a win since Mike Schneider did so against Georgia Tech in 2003 (3-of-9 for 79 yards). SEASON POINTS In six games of 2023, Duke has compiled 187 points from 24 touchdowns, six field goals and one two-point conversion. In the last 10 seasons, the Blue Devils have accumulated 185-plus points during their first six games on eight occasions, missing the mark in 2016 (147 points) and 2020 (128). TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS Just a season ago, Duke compiled 54 total touchdowns, marking the second-most in program history. So far in 2023, the Blue Devils have posted 24 total touchdowns (17 rushing, six passing and one fumble recovery) to rank tied for seventh in the ACC. SCORING RB Jordan Waters ranks tied for second in the ACC and tied for 19th nationally in scoring, averaging 9.00 points per game. His 54 total points scored also place him third in the conference and 31st in the country. The last Duke player to lead the ACC in scoring was Clarkston Hines in 1989 (9.45 ppg). PASS DEFENSE EFFICIENCY & PASSING YARDS ALLOWED Duke holds a 96.45 pass defense efficiency rating to rank first in the ACC and second nationally. The Blue Devils trail Penn State (80.73). The Blue Devils also are only allowing 164.70 passing yards per outing, which place them first in the ACC and eighth in the country behind Penn State (121.20), Michigan (142.10), Notre Dame (153.10), Ohio State (154.30), Rutgers (160.60), Air Force (163.00), and Ohio (163.40). SCORING DEFENSE & TOTAL DEFENSE The year prior to Mike Elko taking over, the Blue Devils finished last in the ACC and 127th nationally in scoring defense (39.8). Last fall, Duke ranked fifth in the ACC and 31st nationally in scoring defense, limiting its opponents to just 22.1 points per game. In 2023, Duke ranks first in the ACC and fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 9.83 points per contest. The Blue Devils have relinquished just 59 points on the year and only four rushing scores. In ACC play, Duke has allowed just 10 points in two league games with both scores coming off Blue Devil turnovers. Additionally, the Blue Devils rank second in the ACC and 16th nationally in total defense, allowing just 298.50 yards per game. FOURTH DOWN DEFENSE The Blue Devils have held their opening six opponents to just 6-of-16 (.375) on fourth down conversions, a mark that ranks fourth in the ACC and 27th nationally. FREEMAN FINDING RHYTHM Against NC State, LB Tre Freeman recorded a career-high 15 tackles, to become the first Duke player to register 15-plus tackles in a game since Shaka Heyward (16) against North Carolina A&T on September 10, 2021. Over the last two games, Freeman has compiled 28 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, one interception and two quarterback pressures. PELINO ON PLACEMENT KICKS After starting the final six games of 2022, sophomore Todd Pelino took over kicking duties for field goals and extra points in 2023. This season, Pelino has gone 6-of-10 on FGs (.600) and has converted all 23 of his PAT attempts. The Cornelius, N.C., native is now a perfect 47-of-47 on PATs during his Blue Devil tenure and moves to ninth all-time on Duke's consecutive PATs made chart. Additionally, Pelino ranks fifth in the ACC this season in PATs made and 10th in FGs. Against NC State during Duke's last outing, Pelino connected on a career-long 52-yard field goal, tying him for the 11th-longest field goal in program lore. It also was Duke's longest field goal made since Ross Martin recorded a 52-yard boot against Indiana in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl.