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Next Up For Duke Football: Virginia Tech

Time: 7:30 || Venue: Lane Stadium || Video: ACC Network/

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Pittsburgh v Duke
DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 21: James Folston Jr. #40 of the Pittsburgh Panthers tries to stop T.J. Rahming #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Wallace Wade Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke has a night game against #13 Virginia Tech at Blacksburg on Saturday at 7:20pm Eastern. Tech enters the game 6-1, their only loss coming to Clemson. Duke enters with four wins and four losses, having lost four straight.

It will be difficult to end this losing streak on the road against a far better team than those Duke has lost to, especially considering the Blue Devils’ have gotten worse over the year rather than better. The run defense is weak, and the offense has struggled to score despite having talent and a few good games early in the year.

After the poor performance against Pitt, it is difficult to imagine how much can change in one week, especially since many pundits and journalists believe the coaching staff has been complacent in identifying the problems.

There are also questions about the playcalling, as Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown have been excellent in a short sample size, but have not received a high number of carries. In the second half against Pitt, Wilson did not receive a single carry, and Brown only ran twice.

Despite some limited success, Jones has struggled due to inconsistency from the receivers.

Through all these offensive struggles, the defense has done about as well as could possibly be expected. When the offense fails to score or stay on the field for extended drives, it puts the defense at an advantage both in field position and with physical tiredness.

Luckily there are still four games left, and Duke must win only two of them to make a bowl game, but it will be hard to get out of this rut against a team of Tech’s caliber. Cutcliffe finally seems to be publicly addressing the issues Duke has been having for the past several weeks, so we may see some substantive change on the field.

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