Keys to the Game, Matchups, and Game Projection: Duke

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After a huge win last week at Clemson, Virginia Tech hopes to maintain their
momentum in a road contest against the Duke Blue Devils. Beamerball was on full
display last week, and the Hokies hope to continue their exceptional defensive
and special teams play against Duke. The Blue Devils are improving, even
registering a win against Northwestern, but will Duke have enough manpower to
compete with Virginia Tech?

While statistically Duke still looks like a cellar dweller, the Blue Devils
have been competitive in their last two ACC contests against Wake Forest and
Miami. Duke plays hard, but they lack the athletes to compete against the upper
echelon teams. Tech’s game plan against the Blue Devils should be relatively
simple: put your superior athletes in a position to make plays.

Defensively, Bud Foster will be aggressive and look to force mistakes.
Offensively, the Hokies will look to get their playmakers outside in space. And
on special teams, Beamerball will try to create some big plays and create
momentum on the road.

So, how will the Hokies accomplish these goals?

Keys to the Game

When Duke has the Ball:

1. Bring the Heat

Thaddeus
Lewis (#9, 6-1.5 190, So.) is one of the better young quarterbacks in college
football. While being pressed into action last year as a true freshman, Lewis
showed considerable poise and presence despite continually being harassed. In
fact, the Hokies knocked him out of last year’s game. No quarterback is
effective when constantly under pressure, but Lewis has shown that he can be
dangerous when given time, so the Hokies must keep the pressure on him.

Duke’s offensive line plays hard and shows toughness, but the Blue Devils
lack size and athletic ability up front. When facing athletic defensive fronts,
Duke struggles with protecting the quarterback. Last year the Hokies recorded a
season high of eight sacks

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