No Need For Evacuation... Duke Blows Out The Hurricanes
Ok... so I tried to come up with a catchy title and the above is all I got. It's Friday and almost a week later for me posting my thoughts from the Duke win over Miami but here it is.
First off... what was Vegas and the sportsbooks thinking having the line at -9 or more in Miami's favor. Had they not been paying attention to how this Duke football team had been playing? I know FanDuel had their line at -9.5 in Miami's favor at one point.
What a statement game! Riley Leonard rushed for three touchdowns and threw for a fourth while the Blue Devils forced eight total turnovers in a 45 - 21 beat down over Miami. Duke fans... well.. we love to see it. Eight turnovers in the game... well maybe that can be some sweet revenge for that eight lateral (botched play the ACC refs blew) play Miami was allowed to pull off at Duke in 2015.
To me this was a statement game. Granted Duke could still get bowl eligible even with a loss in this game, but one could see Elko wanted this win. As I sat at home watching the game and saw Elko go for it on 4th and 9... I knew that was a statement play and decision. There are times when you have to just go for it and Elko did. Coach Elko would again go for it another time on 4th down which resulted in a touchdown. Duke went on to blow out Miami 45-21 with the Duke defense forcing eight turnovers in the game. One would almost think Miami should just go ahead and give this Duke football team the turnover chain they used to use.
A highlight play for many Duke fans was when Brandon Johnson finished off the Hurricanes with a 29-yard interception for a touchdown. Check out the play below from the ACC Digital Network Youtube channel. Be sure to watch the second recap of the play as you will see Brandon Johnson break "The U" symbol over his knee after the play. This went viral on social media as a tweet from the Devils Den Twitter of the play currently has 2.1 million views as of this writing.
Duke is now 5 - 3 with 4 games left and needing 1 more win till bowl eligibility. The last four games are...
- at Boston College 11/4/22
- vs Virginia Tech 11/12/2
- @Pittsburgh 11/19/22
- vs Wake Forest 11/26/22
Here are my thoughts and expectations. I would settle with Duke going 2 - 2 in the last four games stretch. I would be very happy with a 3 -1 record. 1- 3 or 0 - 4 would be disappointing at this point. This Duke football team has shown fight and a willingness to not give up when things get tough. My preseason predictions were for this team to go 6 -6. But with how Mike Elko has totally turned the program around in his first season, I could now easily see Duke going 7 - 5 or better if they keep up this hunger and drive they have shown.
With Duke football one win away from becoming bowl eligible they are starting to be listed more often in bowl projections. Here are some bowl projections from various sports sites after Week 8 play finished.
- CBS = Pinstripe Bowl - Duke vs Minnesota
- 247 Sports = Pinstripe Bowl - Duke vs Minnesota
- CollegeFootballNews.com = Duke's Mayo Bowl - Duke vs Purdue
- Athlon Sports = Pinstripe Bowl - Duke vs Minnesota
- USA Today = Duke's Mayo Bowl - Duke vs Maryland
Those above are just some of the projections through Week 8. As one can see... these bowl projections are projecting different bowls as to be expected with four games still to go in the season.
I personally would like to see Duke land in the Duke's Mayo Bowl in Charlotte or Military Bowl in Annapolis as they are easy drives for me. But the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City would be a cool experience as well. But hey if we keep on winning games... bring on one of the bigger bowls in Florida with the good weather and I will do my best to be there!
Enough of looking ahead though. Duke football has a bye week this week before a matchup with Boston College next Friday November 4th in Chestnut Hill. Until then enjoy the weekend Duke fans. Coach Elko has clearly given us all a lot to look forward to as Duke football finishes out the season.