Duke vs Wake Forest Thoughts, Game Notes, & My Bowl Projection
Duke football finishes up their regular season at home tomorrow vs Wake Forest with a 3:30 PM kickoff on the ACC Network. Duke is now 7-4 after losing a close one last week on the road at Pittsburgh. Look I may not have agreed with the call Elko did to go for two earlier in the game.. vs waiting till closer to the end of the game to go for it.. but I respect his decision.
With that said Duke football are 7-4 and bowl bound regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's game! My original prediction at the beginning of the season was a 6-6 record and I thought I was being generous at that. The Elko era has blown past my expectations for the first year. Duke football fans have had and continue to have a lot to be excited about throughout all of this season and upcoming post season. I can say for myself as a fan and part-time media guy I've been proud to witness the Elko era of Duke Football.
Wake Forest Will be a tough match up at home for Duke. The current line from FanDuel is in Wake Forest's favor at -3.5 and the Over/Under is 66.5 points. In my preseason projections I picked Wake Forest to win this one. However this season has been a great ride and I'm not picking against Duke now. Duke has been in every game they have lost this season and their record could easily be 8-3, 9-2, 10-1, or 11-0. With that said I am picking Duke to win this one and taking the over on points.
My score prediction
Wake Forest 31
Keep reading below for game notes from Duke Sports Information as well as bowl projections and my bowl projection at the end.
Game Notes from Duke Sports Information
Duke concludes its regular season on Saturday when it welcomes Wake Forest to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 or ACC Network. Duke leads the all-time series between the two schools, 58-41-2. In the last meeting on Oct. 30, 2021, the Blue Devils fell, 45-7, to the No. 13 Demon Deacons. Duke's last win over Wake Forest came on Nov. 25, 2017, when Daniel Jones threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Duke earned bowl eligibility by beating the Demon Deacons, 31-23, in Winston-Salem, N.C. Duke head coach Mike Elko and Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson spent 12 seasons together spread between Fordham (2002-03), Richmond (2004-05), Bowling Green (2009-13), and Wake Forest (2014-16). Duke's safeties coach Lyle Hemphill also spent time on Clawson's staff at Wake Forest, serving as the defensive coordinator (2019-21) and safeties coach (2017-21). This season, sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard is 202-of-323 (.625) passing for 2,403 yards with 16 touchdowns and has rushed 107 times for 621 yards with 11 scores. For that effort he ranks third in the ACC in total offense (274.91), trailing North Carolina's Drake Maye (382.82) and Wake Forest's Sam Hartman (316.30). In addition, he is the only player in the ACC with 10-plus rushing and 10-plus passing scores, making him just the second player in Duke history with 10-plus rushing and passing scores in a single season (Brandon Connette, 2013). Saturday's ESPN2/ACCN broadcast will feature Wes Durham, Roddy Jones and Taylor Davis on the call. The game can also be heard on the Blue Devil Sports Network from LEARFIELD through the Varsity app or goduke.com.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Duke (7-4, 4-3 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (7-4, 3-4 ACC)Saturday, November 26, 2022 • 3:30 p.m.Durham, N.C. • Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium (40,004)
• ESPN2 or ACCN
• Duke Notes (PDF) • Wake Forest Notes
LIVE STATS • GoDuke.com
Duke has recorded 200-plus rushing yards on six different occasions this year and ranks third in the ACC and 37th nationally with 191.00 ground yards per contest. Duke, Florida State and Louisville are the only three teams in the ACC to be averaging 190.00-plus rushing and passing yards per game on the season. Redshirt senior linebacker Shaka Heyward has recorded consecutive games with an interception to become the first Blue Devil to do so since Jalen Alexander in 2019 (Virginia and North Carolina). The Dacula, Ga., native has 326 career tackles to his ledger, placing him 18th in program history. He is four tackles away from breaking into Duke's top 15 in the category. Sophomore QB/WR Jordan Moore earned Co-ACC Wide Receiver of the Week honors following Duke's game at Pittsburgh. The Sykesville, Md., native caught a career-best 14 passes for 199 yards (14.21) with one touchdown. His receiving yardage marked the highest single-game total in the ACC this season and ranked as the ninth-best single-game total in Duke history. In addition, his reception total matched the third-highest single-game total in Duke history.
On Saturday, Duke will acknowledge 32 seniors for their dedication to the Duke football program.
MARGIN OF DEFEAT
Duke has four losses on the year by a combined 16 points. Of the 14 Power 5 schools with four losses, the Blue Devils' 16-point margin is the lowest. Duke is followed by Texas (18), Illinois (20), Washington State (37), Purdue (39) and N.C. State (41).
Through 11 games, the Blue Devils have registered 47 total touchdowns to rank tied for fourth in the conference. That total is the most since Duke recorded 51 in 2018. Duke's 44 offensive touchdowns are also the most since 2018 when it recorded 50.
The Blue Devils have produced 12 scoring drives of 10-plus plays this season, after recording two (11-61 yards and 10-82 yards) against Pittsburgh during their last outing.
Sophomore QB/WR Jordan Moore has shown his ability to be a versatile athlete. During fall camp, Moore took reps with the quarterbacks but also was on the receiving end of throws as a wideout. In addition, Moore finished second on the team in rushing yards a year ago.In his first 11 games as a wide receiver, Moore is first on the team in receptions (49) and second in receiving yards (567). During Duke's last outing against Pittsburgh, Moore caught a career-best 14 passes for 199 yards (14.21) with one touchdown. His receiving yardage marked the highest single-game total in the ACC this season and ranked as the ninth-best single-game total in Duke history. In addition, his reception total matched the third-highest single-game total in Duke history. His receiving yards were the most since T.J. Rahming recorded 240 yards on 12 receptions against Temple in the 2018 Walk-On's Independence Bowl. Of his 14 receptions against the Panthers, four went for 20-plus yards, including a game-high 49-yard touchdown reception from QB Riley Leonard for Duke's longest passing score this season. Moore ranks ninth in the ACC in receptions per game with 4.45.
A year ago, the Blue Devils ranked eighth in the ACC and 40th nationally in interceptions thrown with nine. In 2022, Duke is second in the ACC and tied for 18th in the country and with just five on the season.
Duke has recorded 58 tackles for loss to just 46 for its opponents. Leading the way for the Blue Devils is redshirt junior defensive tackle DeWayne Carter with 9.0 tackles for loss on the year. Brandon Johnson (7.5), Darius Joiner (7.0), and R.J. Oben (5.5) have each recorded 5.5-plus tackles for loss to help Duke's cause.Johnson, Carter, and Oben have also found the quarterback this season as the trio lead the team with 5.5, 4.5 and 3.5 sacks on the year, respectively.In addition, the Blue Devils have registered 40 quarterback pressures to 28 for their opponents. Oben leads the team with eight, while junior Aeneas Peebles follows closely with six.
LIMIT THE SCORING
In 2021, the Blue Devils finished last in the ACC in scoring defense (39.8) and 127th nationally. This season, they rank fifth in the ACC and 34th nationally in scoring defense, limiting their opponents to just 22.09 points per game.
FOURTH DOWN DEFENSE
The Blue Devil fourth down defense has limited opponents to just 9-of-21 conversions for a .429 percentage. That mark ranks fifth in the league, which is up from their .692 percent mark in 2021 (9-of-13).
During Duke's outing against Pittsburgh, freshman Chandler Rivers blocked the Blue Devils' second punt on the year. Junior Ryan Smith also blocked a punt for Duke this season against Virginia on Oct. 1. The pair join teammates Isaiah Fisher-Smith, Darrell Harding Jr., and Rocky Shelton II with at least one blocked kick in their Duke career. Fisher-Smith leads the group after compiling three career blocked punts ... he's also added a recovery of a blocked punt during Duke's game against Charlotte in 2020.NET
After 11 games in 2022, the Blue Devils are fifth in the ACC in net punting with a 39.87 mark.
One game left in the season and bowl projections are still all over the place for Duke Football. Below is 13 projections from 12 different sports sites.
Bowl Projections for Duke
*ESPN = Sunbowl - Duke vs Oregon State
*ESPN = Duke’s Mayo Bowl - Duke vs Wisconsin
*CBS = Gasparilla- Duke vs Buffalo
*247 Sports = Pinstripe Bowl - Duke vs Wisconsin
*College Football News = Sunbowl - Duke vs Oregon State
*Athlon Sports = Gasparilla - Duke vs Houston
*Pro Football Network = Sunbowl - Duke vs UCLA
*Action Network = Fenway Bowl - Duke vs ECU
*SI = Fenway Bowl - Duke vs UCF
*Sporting News = First Responder Bowl - Duke vs Oregon State
*USA Today = Duke’s Mayo - Duke vs Purdue
*The Athletic = Duke’s Mayo - Duke vs Maryland
*Yahoo Sports = Military Bowl - Duke vs Tulane
My Bowl Projection
If I have learned anything reading all the bowl projections that come out every week is that I am more clueless now toward the end of the season than I was at the beginning of the season on where Duke will land lol.
With that said here's my bowl projection below.
Hope to see many of you out tomorrow at Wallace Wade Stadium for the last Duke football game of the regular season.