A special season is shaping up for Duke, and Virginia Tech will try to spoil that on Saturday when the teams meet in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Durham, N.C.
“There are not a lot of teams in November with something to play for,” Duke coach Mike Elko said.
The Blue Devils (6-3, 3-2) are bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. They remain in contention to win the ACC’s Coastal Division, but they must win the rest of their games and receive help to move ahead of North Carolina.
Duke already has twice as many wins than last season.
The Hokies (2-7, 1-5) have lost six games in a row and won’t be able to reach the .500 mark, although they hope to gain some traction Saturday under first-year coach Brent Pry.
Virginia Tech squandered an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 28-27 loss to Georgia Tech last week.
“I don’t think it’s dread,” Pry said. “I don’t know that we’re as confident as we need to be in those situations. And that goes back to me.”
Duke will play a home game for the first time since an Oct. 15 loss to North Carolina. Since then, the Blue Devils have won twice.
“Now it’s important for us to go finish it the right way,” Elko said.
Dual-threat quarterback Riley Leonard has dinged opposing defenses repeatedly. He has produced enough on the ground — 577 yards — to boost the Blue Devils to six games with more than 200 rushing yards this season.
Duke last week lost right guard Jacob Monk to a lower-leg injury that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season, putting a dent in the offensive line.
The Hokies, meanwhile, are 0-4 in road games this year.
“Our effort is tremendous. The self-inflicted wounds need to stop,” Pry said. “The margin for error is really small. You just can’t do those things and expect to win the game.”
–Field Level Media