Miami needs to make a statement in this game. Last week's performance against UCF left a lot to be desired as the Canes barely beat the Golden Knights. Duke has played the Hurricanes close the past two years but Miami has been able to pull out the victory. This year will not be the easy victory that Canes fans would like. Coach David Cutcliffe has Duke playing well and the Blue Devils would love to take down Miami. The Canes need to come in and get off to a fast start and deflate the Blue Devils' hope. Thaddeus Lewis and Eron Riley have hooked up six times for touchdowns this season and will look to connect against Miami's struggling pass defense. The Canes will run the ball successfully with Cooper and James and make enough plays on defense to bring back a victory to Coral Gables.
Miami 24 Duke 17
Last week I read a comment from someone who said the Canes really need wins over UCF and Duke to build momentum for this program. I got a laugh from it as a Canes fan because I never thought I'd imagine that beating those two teams is what would give this program momentum that it needs. But it's true -- this is a huge game for the Canes, one it really needs to win if it's going to have any chance of winning the conference this season. Lose here and fall down 0-3 in the conference and you can kiss a conference title chance goodbye. Win here and you're still alive. That's how big this game as become for the Hurricanes and hopefully the intensity/energy level of the team indicates that later today. Duke's defense is solid. Statistically speaking, it'll be the third best defense the Canes will have faced so far this season behind Florida State and Florida. However, its offense is bad and will be one of the worst Miami has faced. The bottom line here is that Miami will likely rely on their running game and its defense. If those two areas come through for the Canes, it should be a solid victory. If either of those areas struggle, it could be a long day because the passing game (one of the worst in college football right now) could really use a boost. I think they'll get it in the form of the running game and good defense.
Canes 23, Duke 17