Duke Monday Thoughts: Duke Dispatched; “The Gauntlet” Looms

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We called it a tune-up, dismissing Duke out of hand before the game even
started. That’s exactly what it turned out to be, as the Hokies beat Duke 44-7,
the widest margin of victory over the Blue Devils since 2005. The time for
trying new things is over, and we know what artillery the Hokies are taking into
the November stretch that will determine the ACC Coastal Division championship.

This one was a snoozer, as the Hokies flexed their offensive, defensive, and
special teams muscle in coasting to the win. Offensively, the Hokies didn’t run
up the big numbers they had against Wake Forest, particularly with the rushing
game, but Tyrod Taylor posted the highest single-game pass efficiency rating of
his career to remove all doubt as to the outcome.

The Hokies had their second-highest yardage total of the season (491 yards)
and went over 40 points for the fifth time this season, the first time they have
done that since 2007.

Defensively, Virginia Tech held Duke to 208 yards, the lowest yardage total
by a VT opponent this year. You could still see the flaws in the Hokie defense,
but Duke isn’t talented enough or experienced enough to take advantage of those
flaws.

On special teams, Jayron Hosley again ripped off a long punt return, and
placekicker Chris Hazley continued the incredible tradition of remarkably
accurate field goal kickers at Virginia Tech.

Let’s start with the defense.

The Defense

There wasn’t much new here on the defensive side of the ball, although backup
linebackers Tariq Edwards and Jack Tyler got the most playing time they have...