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Don’t Count On An Easy Game Against Virginia Tech On Saturday

But it could be one of the season’s best

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NCAA Football: North Carolina Central at Duke
Sep 22, 2018; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils running back Marvin Hubbard III (20) runs on to the field before the game at Wallace Wade Stadium. 
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke will play Virginia Tech this Saturday as you probably know and you probably also know that the Hokies basically collapsed this past weekend against Old Dominion. And after that, Virginia Tech’s best pass rusher, Trevon Hill, was booted off the team. Quarterback Josh Jackson finished the ODU game with a fractured tibia and won’t be back anytime soon.

In the new poll, Virginia Tech which had been #13, is no longer ranked and Duke now is at #22.

This all augurs well for Saturday, right?

Well, maybe, maybe not.

We can promise you a few things. First, the coaching staff at Virginia Tech has been spending the week working their players over, challenging their pride and doing everything possible to bring an angry team into Wallace Wade this weekend. As much as any sport can, football runs on emotion and coaches like to crank it up in a normal situation. But in a crisis?

They’re going to push for extreme intensity.

And David Cutcliffe and his staff know that as well as anyone else. They’re spending their week making sure Duke can match the emotional intensity the Hokies are sure to bring.

And remember this about the missing Hill and Jackson: Duke has overcome a ton of injuries to stay undefeated. If you think that Virginia Tech doesn't have as much depth as Duke has, well, honestly we can’t promise you that. But typically speaking, Virginia Tech is much more of a football school and doesn’t face the type of restrictions Duke does when it comes to recruiting. We would normally assume they have more depth than Duke.

Duke has been a major surprise so far this season, not least of all because of how well it has dealt with injuries.

Despite the shocking loss to ODU, Virgina Tech has shown some real potential too.

Our guess is that this weekend could be an unbelievably good game with two teams at or near their emotional peak. That means it’s likely to be a great game, but by no means is it likely to be an easy win for Duke.

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