Coming off of an early bye week, the Georgia Tech football team will travel to Durham, N.C. to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets, currently 1-0, demolished Elon 70-0 a couple weeks ago in their season opener at Bobby Dodd. Kickoff is set for 3:30 P.M.
Duke, 2-0, is coming off of a 28-14 win over Memphis last Saturday. QB Brandon Connette was 14/21, throwing for 198 yards and 2 TDs. Judging by the stats, their rushing game is in good shape as well, having rushed for almost 200 yards against Memphis. Although neither of these teams played opponents that would be considered equal opponents, both teams looked very efficient.
Georgia Tech’s redshirt sophomore QB Vad Lee is a native of Durham, N.C. and wants nothing more than to return to his hometown and win against Duke. Many of his family and friends will be in attendance to watch the contest, making for a unique experience for the young player. Lee, a graduate of Hillside High School, led his team to the state finals in North Carolina and was team captain for three years.
Last year’s Georgia Tech vs. Duke contest ended with a score of 42-24, with the Yellow Jackets managing to pull off the win after trading leads with the Blue Devils throughout the majority of the game. Tevin Washington had a good day, throwing for 102 yards, while Lee himself rushed for a touchdown. This year’s game looks like it could very well follow the same trend as their meeting in 2012: frequent score changes and scoring by many different players on both sides.
In my opinion, I see this as a statement game for Lee. Who wouldn’t want to win in front of their hometown crowd? To return home and win would be nothing short of the perfect story line. However, I’m quite sure that Duke is aware of this and their mission is to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’m expecting this game to be total shootout, with both QB’s throwing for close to 200 yards. I believe the edge will come from Georgia Tech, whose defense seems to have spark about them.
In order to be successful in this game, the Yellow Jackets’ defense must stick to the basics: keep their eyes out of the backfield, keep everything in front of them and 11 heads to the ball. This defense has had two weeks to prepare for Duke and although I believe that early bye weeks can sometimes harm a team, I think it was appropriate to prepare for their first ACC matchup of the season.
The offense should maintain the balance that it started out with, giving equal time to the air and the ground game. Keeping a team like Duke on their toes could work to their advantage and allow them to open up the playbook a little more. Keep the defense guessing, tire them out and force them to play. Perhaps now is a good time to use a no-huddle offense?
Regardless of the final score, this game is certain to be an exciting one. Let’s go Tech!