Duke vs NC State - Thoughts, Score Prediction, and Game Notes
Duke thankfully had a bye week this past week as it came at the perfect time due to the injury to Riley Leonard. Duke will now play its fifth home game of this season as they welcome NC State to Wallace Wade Stadium for yet another night game for the Blue Devils. It will be an 8:00 PM kickoff and will be on the ACC Network.
NC State brings a 4 - 2 record to Wallace Wade Stadium with their recent win being over Marshall at home last week by a score of 48 - 41. As of this writing, FanDuel has the line in favor of Duke at -3.5 points with an Over/Under of 45.5 points. Look... whether it is Henry Belin or Riley Leonard playing at the QB spot, I still have Duke winning this game at home and I am taking the Over.
My score prediction.
NC State 21
Keep reading below for Game Notes from Duke Sports Information
HOW TO FOLLOW  Duke (4-1, 1-0 ACC) vs. NC State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) Saturday, October 14, 2023 • 8 PM Durham, N.C. • Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium TELEVISION • ACCN RADIO • Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD GAME NOTES • Duke Notes • NC State Notes LIVE STATS • GoDuke.com TWITTER • @DukeFOOTBALL
GAME NOTES Duke's one loss this year was by seven points. There are currently 29 schools nationally with one loss, with 10 of those losses being by seven or less points. Duke's mark trails Toledo (2), Miami (3), Oregon State (3), Texas (4), and Fresno State (5) and is tied with Marshall (7), Memphis (7), Ohio (7) and UCLA (7). Under head coach Mike Elko, Duke has won the turnover battle in 12 of its 18 games and has scored 115 points off those turnovers (15 touchdowns, three field goals and one two-point conversion). The Blue Devils rank in the top half of the ACC in both scoring offense (32.6 ppg; 6th) and defense (11.2 ppg; 1st). They are one of two ACC schools averaging 30.0 points per game and allowing just 15.0 points per outing. Miami joins Duke with marks of 39.0 ppg and 14.6 ppg, respectively. The Blue Devils have only been nationally ranked once when facing the Wolfpack with the contest ending in a 14-14 tie on Oct. 26, 1957. Duke was ranked No. 4, while NC State held a No. 11 national ranking. DEFENDING BROOKS FIELD AT WALLACE WADE STADIUM In non-conference regular season games held at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke is 19-3 (.864) in its last 10 seasons. The Blue Devils fell twice at home to a nationally ranked Notre Dame team in 2019 and 2023 as well as ranked Northwestern squad in 2015. Duke dropped its first home out-of-conference game in the last three years to No. 11 Notre Dame during its last outing. In the two years prior to head coach Mike Elko taking over, Duke was 4-8 overall at home and 0-8 in ACC play. Since then, the Blue Devils are 8-2 and 4-1, respectively. HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS Prior to its second-half comeback win over No. 9 Clemson earlier this year, Duke was 0-3 when trailing at halftime under head coach Mike Elko. Additionally, the Blue Devils are 4-0 this season and 12-0 overall under Elko when leading after the third quarter. In its opening five games of 2023, Duke is outscoring its opponents 92-25 in the second half. MARGIN OF DEFEAT In the two years prior to Mike Elko taking over, Duke lost 18 games by an average of 25.1 points. In 2021 alone, the Blue Devils' margin of defeat was 28.6 points per outing. Since then, the Blue Devils have lost just five games in two years by an average of 4.6 points. Its largest loss under Elko was an eight-point defeat at Kansas on Sept. 24, 2022. Duke's lone loss of 2023 was by seven points. There are currently 29 schools nationally with one loss, with 10 of those losses being by seven-or-less points. Duke's mark trails Toledo (2), Miami (3), Oregon State (3), Texas (4), and Fresno State (5) and is tied with Marshall (7), Memphis (7), Ohio (7) and UCLA (7). DUKE'S RUN GAME The Blue Devils rank 23rd nationally and second in the ACC in rushing offense, averaging 199.40 yards per outing. In the conference, they trail Miami's mark of 211.00. Additionally, Duke ranks tied for fourth in the country in rushing touchdowns (16), 13th in yards per rush (5.48) and 40th in rushing yards (997). In the ACC, those marks rank the Blue Devils first, second, and sixth, respectively. QB Riley Leonard and RBs Jordan Waters and Jaquez Moore are averaging 6.9, 5.8 and 5.6 rushing yards per carry, respectively. LOST YARDAGE The Blue Devils have only relinquished 58 rushing yards on the year, marking the second fewest in the ACC behind Miami's 47. SEASON POINTS In just five games of 2023, Duke has compiled 163 points from 21 touchdowns, five field goals and one two-point conversion. In the last 10 seasons, the Blue Devils have accumulated 160-plus points during their first five games on seven occasions, missing the mark in 2015 (145 points), 2016 (134) and 2020 (108). CONVERTING WHEN IT'S NEEDED Last fall, Duke ranked second in the ACC in fourth down conversations after converting on 14-of-25 (.560) fourth down chances. In 2023, the Blue Devils rank fourth in the ACC in fourth down conversions after going 5-of-8 (.625) in their opening five games. HOLDING OPPONENTS TO UNDER 300 Under head coach Mike Elko, the Blue Devil defensive unit has held six opponents to under 300 yards of total offense, including three of their opening five opponents. LINEBACKERS STEPPING UP In each of Duke's opening five games of 2023, the linebackers unit has led the way in terms of tackles. Against No. 9 Clemson and No. 11 Notre Dame, redshirt sophomore Tre Freeman tied for the team-lead with 11 and 13 tackles, respectively, while senior Dorian Mausi compiled a team-high six and 11 tackles against Lafayette and Northwestern, respectively. In Duke's outing against Connecticut, redshirt sophomore Nick Morris Jr. led the way with a career-best eight tackles. Freeman ranks first on the team with 34 tackles, while Mausi follows closely in third with 28. Morris Jr. has added 20 to rank seven on the team. FOURTH DOWN & RED ZONE DEFENSE The Blue Devils have held their opening five opponents to just 7-of-13 (.539) in the red zone and 5-of-12 (.417) on fourth down conversions, marks that rank them second and 37th nationally, respectively. BREAKIN' UP Duke's defensive back unit compiled 59 pass breakups in 2022 to rank fourth in the ACC, trailing only Clemson (70), Pittsburgh (67), and Wake Forest (63). The Blue Devils were one of two schools in the conference with five players with six-plus pass breakups on the year. In Duke's opening five games, it has registered 26 pass breakups to rank third in the ACC behind Clemson and Florida State who both have 28. Additionally, the Blue Devils are one of four ACC schools with seven players with two-plus pass breakups on the year, joining Clemson, Georgia Tech and Syracuse. CALHOUN BACK FOR PUNTS For the second consecutive season, redshirt senior Jalon Calhoun is Duke's top option at punt returns. Calhoun finished last year with a team-high nine punt returns for 113 yards (12.6), including a season-high two returns for 41 yards against North Carolina A&T. Calhoun has seven punt returns for 102 yards so far in 2023 for an average of 14.57 yards per return which ranked third in the ACC and ninth nationally. His punt return yardage places him fourth in the conference, while his punt returns are eighth. LIMITING PUNT RETURNS The Blue Devils held opponents to just 74 punt return yards last season. An average of just 5.69 yards per return. The longest return Duke allowed was a 16-yarder against Kansas. Duke's opponent yards per return ranked 37th nationally, and ranked fifth in the ACC behind Virginia Tech (2.91), Miami (3.80), Pittsburgh (4.83) and Louisville (5.52). In Duke's opening five games of 2023, the Blue Devils have only relinquished 22 yards on eight returns (2.8). That mark ranks them 23rd nationally and third in the ACC.