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Next Up For Duke Football: Georgia Tech

Time: 12:00 pm || Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium || TV: RSN

NCAA Football: Duke at Louisville
Oct 14, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against Duke Blue Devils cornerback Bryon Fields (14) during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Duke 24-14. 
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

At 12pm Eastern, Duke will take on Georgia Tech (4-3, 1-3 Conf) at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Tech is coming off a 35-24 win over Georgia Southern. That win ends a three-game losing streak for the Yellow Jackets, who had previously dropped contests to Clemson, Miami, and Pitt. Duke is coming off a 24-14 loss to Louisville.

Georgia Tech has struggled this year with time of possession, normally their strength, but this is credited by Tech fans to the poor defense. It has struggled to get off the field, giving up third down conversions at a 49.5% rate. Georgia Southern converted 13-20 third downs, had the ball for over 33 minutes.

The offense is 107th in the country in total yards, and was only able to amass 58 yards on the ground against Southern. Justin Thomas was 7/11 through the air for 172 yards and one score.

Tech is starting two true freshmen on the offensive line, tackle Jahaziel Lee and guard Parker Braun.

Luckily for the Blue Devils, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is known as an option genius, and Duke has already faced an option team this year (Army). Unfortunately, the tape from the hurricane game may not be off much use, since those conditions are not likely to be replicated again. Regardless, despite injuries to Tinashe Bere and Devon Edwards, Duke’s defense managed to hold Lamar Jackson in check (to a certain extent), which bodes well for the Tech game. The Jackets are less explosive on offense and less talented on defense.

Duke has had a tough time finishing drives this year, since the field goal range has shrunk greatly for last year, and we’ve lost the leadership and stability of Sirk on the field. Facing a defense that can’t get off the field may be a good break for the Blue Devils.

As an aside: this week’s helmets commemorate the 1942 Rose Bowl team. No news yet on what jersey and pants will be accompanying them. @DukeFBEquipment hasn’t posted the uni combo yet.