Miami vs. Duke prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Hurricanes and Blue Devils on Saturday in Miami, FL.
Miami vs. Duke Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
The Hurricanes (7-4, 4-3 ACC) went into Raleigh last week and used a powerful rushing attack in the second half to overwhelm NC State in a 27-13 win. Mark Walton had three second-half scores and ended the day with 120 yards on the ground to crack the 1,000-yard mark on the season.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devils (4-7, 1-6) were pounded by Pitt last week on the road, as David Cutcliffe’s squad allowed James Conner to score a pair of touchdowns in a 56-14 Panthers romp. The touchdowns made Conner the leading career touchdown scorer in ACC history.
In last year’s contest between these two teams, controversy reigned in Durham, as Corn Elder took the Hurricanes’ eighth lateral of a wild final kickoff return back for a touchdown to give the Hurricanes a 30-27 victory over the ranked Blue Devils.
What To Know About Miami
One week after the Hurricanes went into Charlottesville and took home a 34-14 win over Virginia, Mark Richt’s squad closed the regular season at 4-2 on the road. That’s an encouraging sign for a team that managed a combined three road wins over the past two seasons. In addition to Walton’s achievement, wide receiver Ahmmon Richards broke the Hurricanes’ single-season freshman receiving record (840 yards) set by Michael Irvin in 1985. He finished with nine catches for 117 yards last week. Kaaya, who became just the second quarterback to throw for more than 9,000 yards in his career at Miami, has been beaten up all season long. But the O-Line has improved over the last few weeks. If Kaaya has time to throw and the rushing attack with Walton, Joe Yearby and Gus Edwards is clicking, the Blue Devils will have their problems.
What to Know About Duke
One week after pulling off a 28-27 upset of North Carolina to claim its first ACC win of the year, Cutcliffe’s squad could do little down the field against a Panthers pass defense that was ranked No. 127. Daniel Jones completed 28 of 46 through the air for 248 yards and a touchdown, and he was sacked five times. And after rushing for more than 200 yards on the ground in each of their last three games, the Blue Devils managed just 25 yards on the ground against Pitt. They will need to be much better against a Miami squad that is playing as well as it was in the first part of the year. Duke is also looking for revenge after losing the “eight laterals” game last season. The ACC ended up suspending officials for two games following a series of officiating errors during that ‘Canes return.
Offense: Miami. These are two solid offenses, but the ‘Canes have much more firepower.
Defense: Miami. The ‘Canes are giving up just 351.6 yards per game.
Special Teams: Even. Both teams can be explosive in the return game.
Coaching: Even. Richt and Cutcliffe are two of the best head coaches in college football.
Intangibles: Miami. The ‘Canes are playing very good football and are looking to get into a better bowl matchup.
Matchup To Watch
Jones vs. Miami defensive front
The redshirt freshman has started every game this year, throwing for 2,520 yards with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushing for 421 yards and seven scores. The Miami defense will need to corral him and keep him off of the perimeter. A one-dimensional Duke offense will have no chance to keep up with the Kaaya-led ‘Canes.
Spread: Miami -14
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Miami vs. Duke Prediction
The only chance Duke has of making a fifth straight bowl game will be to win this one and hope there aren’t enough 6-6 teams to fill the bowl slots. It will be a tall order going against a Miami team playing its best football in awhile. Despite a valiant effort, Duke will fall short.
Miami vs. Duke Score Prediction: Miami 34, Duke 26