Duke vs UConn - Thoughts, Score Prediction, and Game Notes
Duke easily beat Northwestern this past weekend by a score of 38 - 14 to go 3 - 0 in their first three games of the season that have all been home games in Wallace Wade Stadium. This was yet another game where many players for Duke saw the field.
Duke will now be on the road for their first road game of the season when they play UConn in East Hartford, Connecticut this coming Saturday with a 3:30 PM kickoff. UConn has not had the best start to the season and sit at 0 - 3. As of this writing, FanDuel has the line in favor of Duke at -21.5 points with and Over/Under of 45.5 points. I think Duke continues to build on a strong run game and puts on an impressive performance in their first road game as I am taking the Over of 45.5 points for this game.
My score prediction.
Keep reading below for Game Notes from Duke Sports Information
HOW TO FOLLOW  Duke (3-0) vs. UConn (0-3) Saturday, September 23, 2023 • 3:30 PM East Hartford, Conn. • Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field TELEVISION • CBSSN RADIO • Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD GAME NOTES • Duke Notes • UConn Notes LIVE STATS • UConnHuskies.com TWITTER • @DukeFOOTBALL
GAME NOTES In Duke's last outing against Northwestern, the Blue Devils rolled up 487 yards of offense to defeat the Wildcats, 38-14, for the fifth consecutive time and improve to 3-0 on the year. Duke was led by junior Riley Leonard, who rushed for 97 yards and two scores and threw for 219 on an efficient 15-of-20 passing. Graduate Jordan Waters also rushed for a pair of touchdowns and has five rushing scores this season. Duke averaged 8.12 yards per play against Northwestern to mark the second consecutive game in which the Blue Devils average 7.5-plus yards per snap. For the year, Duke ranks third in the ACC, averaging 7.24 yards per play. Duke forced Northwestern into one turnover during its last game, a Myles Jones interception in the fourth quarter. Under Elko, Duke has won the turnover battle in 11 of its 16 games and has scored 101 points off those turnovers (13 touchdowns, three field goals and one two-point conversion). The Blue Devils and Huskies have one common foe on their 2023 schedule in NC State. UConn dropped a 24-14 decision to the Wolfpack on Aug. 31, while Duke welcomes the NC State to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14 HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS For the first time under head coach Mike Elko, Duke came back to win a game after trailing at halftime. The Blue Devils were 0-3 heading into their game against No. 9 Clemson and were trailing at the break 7-6 but went on to outscore the Tigers 22-0 in the second half to secure the win. Additionally, the Blue Devils are 3-0 this season and 11-0 overall under Elko leading after the third quarter. NON-CONFERENCE WINS Since 2014, Duke holds a 27-7 (.794) regular season and 31-8 (.795) overall record against non-conference opponents. In its last 25 non-conference games, Duke is 20-5 (.800). The only time during that stretch that Duke lost two non-conference games in the same season was 2019 (No. 2 Alabama and No. 15 Notre Dame). SCORING FIRST Under head coach Mike Elko, Duke is 3-0 this season and 10-0 overall when scoring first. In eight of those 10 games, the Blue Devils registered a touchdown to begin the scoring and seven were on the opening drive. AVERAGE YARDS PER PLAY Duke ranks third in the ACC this season with a 7.24 total offensive average per play mark. Against Northwestern during their last outing, the Blue Devils finished with a season-high 8.12 average gain per play mark. RUSHING SCORES The 31 rushing scores last season set a program record and were anchored by a quartet of players in quarterback Riley Leonard (13), running back Jordan Waters (8), running back Jaquez Moore (5), and running back Jaylen Coleman (480). They formed the first foursome in Blue Devil history to compile four-plus rushing touchdowns in a single-season. So far in 2023, Duke has compiled 12 rushing scores to rank tied for first nationally with Texas State. Leonard and Waters each found the end zone twice During Duke's last outing against Northwestern to becoming the first pair of Blue Devils to do so since Mataeo Durant (3) and Gunnar Holmberg (2) scored two-plus rushing touchdowns against North Carolina A&T in 2021. AVERAGING 200 Duke is one of five ACC schools averaging 200.00-plus rushing and passing yards, joining Louisville, Syracuse, Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils and Cardinals are the only programs averaging 240.00-plus rushing and 215.00-plus passing yards this season. ROOKIE SEEING GAME ACTION Running back Peyton Jones has seen action in all three of Duke's opening games of 2023 and has registered 13 rushes for 55 yards for an average of 4.23 yards per carry. Additionally, the Norfolk, Va., native recorded his first career rushing score against Northwestern, when he broke free for a 15-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter. COMPLETION PERCENTAGE The Blue Devils rank third in the ACC with a completion percentage of .693 (52-of-75). Individually, quarterback Riley Leonard also ranks third in the ACC with a .677 (44-65) pass completion percentage. He sits behind Miami's Tyler Van Dyke (.760) and North Carolina's Drake Maye (.726). STOUT DEFENSE In just three games of 2023, the Blue Devils defense has allowed only four scores in eight offensive red zone possessions to rank tied for fourth nationally with Army West Point and Rutgers. Additionally, Duke shut out Clemson and Lafayette in the second half, marking its third second-half shutout under head coach Mike Elko (Virginia Tech - November 12, 2022). In total, the Blue Devils have only allowed one touchdown in the second half this season. HOLDING OPPONENTS TO UNDER 300 Under head coach Mike Elko, the Blue Devils' defensive unit has held five opponents to under 300 yards of total offense, including each of their last two opponents. LINEBACKERS STEPPING UP In each of Duke's opening three games of 2023, the linebackers unit has led the way in terms of tackles. Against No. 9 Clemson, redshirt sophomore Tre Freeman tied for the team-lead with 11 tackles, while senior Dorian Mausi compiled a team-high six and 11 tackles against Lafayette and Northwestern, respectively. Mausi ranks tied for first on the team in tackles with 21, while Freeman follows closely with 18. FOURTH DOWN & RED ZONE DEFENSE The Blue Devils' fourth down defense in 2022 limited opponents to just 11-of-26 attempts. Duke's conversion percentage allowed of .423 ranked 26th in the country. The Blue Devils have held their opening three opponents to just 2-of-7 (.286) on fourth down, and 4-of-8 (.500) in the red zone, marks that rank them fifth and third in the ACC, 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 three games, it has registered 17 pass breakups to lead the league. Additionally, the Blue Devils are one of two ACC schools with four players with two-plus pass breakups on the year, joining North Carolina. LIMIT THE SCORING 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. After allowing just 28 points through its opening three games, Duke ranks fifth nationally and second in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing just 9.3 points per game. NET PUNTING Duke ranks first nationally with a 50.17 net punting average per game. 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 three games, the Blue Devils have yet to relinquish any punt return yards in three returns. That mark ranks them tied for eighth nationally and fourth in the ACC.