FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Life Stadium (74,916) — Miami Gardens, Florida.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Duke 3-0, Miami 2-0. Away Record: Duke 1-0,
Miami 0-2. Neutral Record: Duke 0-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: Duke 0-0,
Miami 0-1. Series Record: Miami leads, 9-2.
GAME NOTES: Off to their best start since 1994, the Duke Blue Devils seek to
remain unbeaten on the season, as they open up ACC play on the road against
the Miami Hurricanes.
David Cutcliffe has built a strong program in Durham. The Blue Devils won the
ACC’s Coastal Division last season and have carried that success into 2014,
with wins over Elon, Troy, Kansas and most recently, Tulane (47-13). With the
victory at Troy on Sept. 6, Duke has now won six straight road games after
going a flawless 5-0 on the road last year.
Al Golden’s Hurricanes have played to mixed reviews this season. The team has
a pair of home wins over Florida A&M and Arkansas State, sandwiched between
road losses to Louisville (31-13) in the season opener and last week’s setback
at Nebraska (41-31). The loss to the Cardinals puts the ‘Canes in an early ACC
Miami has won nine of the 11 all-time meetings with Duke, but the Blue Devils
prevailed a year ago, taking a 48-30 decision at home.
Long known as a passing team, Duke now has serious balance on the offensive
side of the football this year, giving opponents fits as a result. The Blue
Devils are putting up gaudy numbers, averaging 43.5 ppg, having great success
on the ground (261.0 ypg) and through the air (230.8 ypg).
Anthony Boone has been sensational under center for Duke, completing 62.4
percent of his passes thus far, for 876 yards, with seven TDs against just one
INT. He has also added three scores on the ground.
It helps to have a deep and talented receiving corps, headlined by All-
American candidate Jamison Crowder (22 rec, 296 yds, 2 TDs). Max McCaffrey (20
rec, 200 yds, 2 TDs) and Issac Blackeney (14 rec, 182 yds, 3 TDs) have been
productive as well.
Freshman tailback Shaun Wilson has carried the ball just 28 times in the first
four games, but has an eye-popping 14.4 ypc, amassing 404 yards and four TDs
this season. Quarterback Thomas Sirk also has an inflated average at 8.6 ypc
and has scored three times.
The Duke defense has had some problems stopping the run this season (182.2
ypg), but the pass defense has been stifling at a mere 170.8 ypg. The Blue
Devils have recorded 10 sacks and six interceptions in the first four games.
Senior linebacker David Helton leads the team in total tackles with 42.
Sophomore defensive back DeVon Edwards (36 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT)
and junior safety Jeremy Cash (35 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT) aren’t
far behind, leading the way in the secondary.
Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 359 yards, but it wasn’t enough in
Lincoln to earn the Hurricanes a win over the Cornhuskers. Tabbed as the
starter at the beginning of the season, Kaaya has performed well under the
spotlight, leading an offense that is averaging just under 400 yards per game.
The team was supposed to lean heavily on the rushing exploits of Duke Johnson,
and he has performed well, rushing for 380 yards and three TDs on 6.2 yards
Kaaya has really provided great balance, completing 62.4 percent of his
throws, for 1,057 yards and 10 TDs. However, he has a penchant for the errant
pass, with seven INTs to his credit already.
Senior tight end Clive Walford (25 rec, 206 yds, 3 TDs) and freshman wideout
Braxton Berrios (14 rec, 149 yds, 2 TDs) have been active, but it is senior
wideout Phillip Dorsett (10 rec, 332 yds, 4 TDs) that has been the most
explosive, averaging 33.2 yards per catch.
The Hurricanes have had their ups and downs defensively, yielding just 313.8
yards per game, while giving up a generous 24.8 ppg.
The Miami defense is led by All-American candidate Denzel Perryman. The
veteran linebacker has 31 stops on the season, with 4.0 TFL and one sack.
Fellow senior linebacker Thurston Armbrister has been a force getting upfield,
with 24 total tackles and four sacks. Junior tackle Ufomba Kamalu has shown
flashes of an upfield burst as well with three sacks to his credit.
Duke has won 12 straight regular season games (the second longest streak in
the nation) and with the inconsistent Hurricanes on deck, the Blue Devils
should be able to make it 13.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 31, Miami-Florida 24