Friday, October 25, 2013

A Look Ahead: Virginia Tech vs. Duke

By Justin Cates

The Hokies are coming off a bye week with a surprising number of new injuries in the defensive backfield.

Freshman corner Brandon Facyson is doubtful after suffering a concussion Sunday and Kyle fuller is questionable with a groin injury.

Thankfully, senior corner Antone Exum is expected to make his first start of the season after recovering from an off-season basketball injury. 

Duke (5-2, 1-2 ACC) runs primarily a spread attack which means the Hokies (6-1, 3-0 ACC) will line up in a nickel quite a bit, featuring Kendall Fuller at the nickel position. Expect to see lots of Donovan Riley opposite Exum if Kyle Fuller can't go.

Last season, J.C. Coleman had his breakout performance with 183 rushing yards against the Blue Devils. Tech hasn't been able to run on anyone this year however and Duke has some solid interior line players on defense.

It will be interesting to see if the Hokies find a way to run for any significant yardage.

The Hokie offense will likely continue to lean on the capable passing efforts of recent weeks. Logan Thomas is playing much better in ACC games and the receiver seem to get better every week.

Duke is feeling good after falling behind Virginia 22-0 only to storm back and score 35 unanswered points to win in Charlottesville.

Duke tore out to 20-0 lead during the first quarter against the Hokies. Tech scored the final 41 points and came away with a deceptively comfortable victory.

Brandon Connette is dangerous and elusive in the open field.

Duke always manages to play tough against Virginia Tech. Quarterbacks Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette hope they continue their strong play and make some plays early.

Tech should win, but they have to be wary if they want to keep winning and validate a No. 14 ranking in the initial BCS standings.   

Virginia Tech hosts Duke at 3:30 Saturday on ESPNU.

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