Duke Pregame: Blue Devils Do Plenty Of Things Well

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David Cutcliffe might have his best Duke team this year. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

This Saturday the No. 23 Duke Blue Devils will be looking improve their record to 5-0, and they have to be confident in their ability to obtain that goal against a reeling Hokie squad. Let’s start with this highlight clip of their game versus Baylor, which happened to be backup QB Quentin Harris’s first start, and an odd game in that their travel was rushed to get ahead of Hurricane Florence:

The first few plays by Duke might seem familiar:

  • Power draw for a TD
  • Interior twist/DE stick for a sack
  • FG block
  • Post/wheel combination of a fake bubble screen
  • Deep fly for a TD

The power draw plays a lot like the iso/insert zone play Tech leans on, the interior twist has been a staple for the Hokies that hasn’t gotten results, blocking field goals is obviously a part of the Tech identity, Tech tried the fake bubble to post/wheel last week, and the drop-in fly is something the Hokies have struggled with while a certain recent opponent made the concept look ridiculously easy.

Yup, Duke is doing as good a job (and often a better job) at running Tech’s playbook than the Hokies themselves.  And they’re also pretty good at hitting the plays ODU tormented Tech with.

Backup QB Quentin Harris (#18, 6-1, 195, r-Jr.) has been the star of the show for the Blue Devils, and while there have been hints injured starter Daniel Jones might try to play, I don’t see him taking the field for