It’s been nearly 16 years since Duke beat NC State but the Blue Devil’s will bring a confident squad into Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday after amassing 397 yards of offense against Virginia Tech last week. Senior QB Thad Lewis leads the ACC in passing and will test a Wolfpack secondary that struggled mightily against Wake Forest. Pack Pride takes an in-depth look at the Duke football program.
Duke National Statistical Rankings
Look back at Duke’s last game from CollegeFootballNews.com
Virginia Tech 34 … at Duke 26
Virginia Tech had more of a battle than it expected even though Tyrod Taylor threw two first quarter touchdown passes with a 36-yarder to Danny Coale and a 28-yarder to Jarrett Boykin and Josh Oglesby ran for fourth quarter scores of 12 and 19 yards. Duke scored first on a 48-yard pass play to Brandon King, but the offense kept seeing drives fall short with Will Snyderwine hitting four field goals, with his third making it a 20-16 Tech lead early in the fourth quarter. The Hokies were finally able to pull away on Josh Oglesby touchdown runs from 12 and 19 yards away. Virginia Tech committed 12 penalties, while Duke committed seven.
Player of the Game: Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor completed 17-of-22 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns.
Duke: Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 22-40, 359 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Desmond Scott, 7-34, Receiving: Austin Kelly, 6-43, 1 TD
Virginia Tech: Passing: Tyrod Taylor, 17-22, 327 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Ryan Williams, 24-83, Receiving: Jarrett Boykin, 6-144, 1 TD
What It All Means: Duke is going to be kicking itself. The Blue Devils lost because of third down conversions. They only came up with seven first downs on 19 chances, while Virginia Tech converted on 8-of-12 chances. The offense moved the ball well right up until it bogged down time and again in scoring range meaning field goals instead of touchdowns. It might have been a loss, but the Blue Devils showed they could hang with the best in the ACC
Duke Game Notes
N.C. State’s Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes in the first half and J.C. Neal had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the Wolfpack defeated Duke, 27-17, in Durham. The Blue Devils recorded 411 yards of total offense but only scored twice in five trips to the red zone. Lewis led Duke, completing 37-of-52 pass attempts for 317 yards.
Pass Offense Among ACC Best
Duke’s passing offense leads the ACC and ranks 16th nationally this season, averaging 285.6 yards per game. The Blue Devil quarterbacks have thrown for 1,428 yards, making Duke one of six ACC schools with over 1,000 passing yards. The Blue Devils are tied for second in the conference with 11 passing touchdowns.
Inside the Numbers ...
3-Sophomore safety Matt Daniels has forced three fumbles this season, which are tied for the most in the NCAA Division I. Daniels and Virginia Tech’s Cody Grimm are the only two players in the ACC with three caused fumbles.
3-Junior wide receiver Austin Kelly has now caught fi ve or more passes in three consecutive games. On the year, Kelly leads Duke with 25 receptions including six for 43 yards and a touchdown last week versus Virginia Tech.
4-Junior kicker Will Snyderwine booted four fi eld goals last week against Virginia Tech covering 29, 25, 47 and 43 yards. The four fi eld goals are the most by a Blue Devil kicker since Sims Lenhardt connected on four attempts versus Northwestern in 1999.
5-Redshirt junior tight end Brandon King now has five career touchdown receptions following his 48-yard scoring catch against Virginia Tech. The fi ve TD catches rank tied for eighth on Duke’s career chart for scoring grabs by a tight end.
11-Last week against Virgina Tech, the Blue Devils put together three scoring drives of 11 or more snaps.
16-Senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis has thrown two or more touchdown passes in 16 career
20-Lewis now owns a touchdown-to-interception difference of +20 for his career, tossing 54 touchdowns opposed to 34 interceptions. Lewis has displayed marked improvement in this area since arriving in Durham, struggling during his rookie campaign with 11 TDs and 16 interceptions. Since the beginning of 2007 season, Lewis has thrown for 43 touchdowns with just 18 interceptions in 28 contests.
54-Lewis has 54 career touchdown passes, one shy of matching Ben Bennett’s school record of 55 career touchdown passes. It will also tie him for 11th all-time in the ACC. Lewis has thrown 10 or more TD passes in each of his fi rst three seasons as the starting QB and is the active leader in the ACC.
117-Redshirt senior defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase has 33.5 career tackles for loss for a total of 117 yards of lost yardage. His 33.5 tackles for loss rank eighth in Duke history and are one shy of Reggie Andrews for seventh on the career list.
123-Lewis is 123 passing yards shy of 8,000 for his career. He is looking to become the 15th quarterback in ACC history with 8,000 career passing yards. He is 127 yards away from Steve Slayden for third all-time at Duke.
192-In last week’s loss to then sixth-ranked Virginia Tech, freshman wide receiver Conner Vernon totaled 192 all-purpose yards. The Miami, Fla., native had four receptions for 128 yards while returning three kickoffs for an additional 64 yards.
271-Vernon has 271 receiving yards this season and already ranks eighth on Duke’s single season
receiving yards list for freshmen. Walter Jones holds the school record for yards by a freshman with 578. Vernon ranks fourth in the ACC with 67.8 receiving yards per game.
350-With his 359-yard outing last week against Virginia Tech, Lewis has now thrown for 350 or more yards in three career games. He is one of six quarterbacks in Duke history to have three or more performances of 350+ yards, joining Anthony Dilweg (7), Ben Bennett (6), Spence Fischer (5), Dave Brown (4) and Steve Slayden (3).
Duke On Opening Drive
The Blue Devils have scored touchdowns on their first offensive possession in two of the five games this season. Against N.C. Central, Duke put together a five-play drive, covering 59 yards that resulted in a touchdown on a 14-yard run by redshirt freshman Patrick Kurunwune. Duke drove 87 yards in just two plays for a touchdown on its fi rst drive at Kansas. Senior Thaddeus Lewis connected with Austin Kelly for a 66-yard pass on the Blue Devils’ first offensive play. Lewis then rushed 21 yards for a touchdown on the next play.
Scott Runs For 100 In College Debut
True freshman Desmond Scott made his collegiate debut against N.C. Central, running for 100 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. He became the first freshman to run for 100 yards in his fi rst game since B.J. Hill had 121 yards against Western Carolina in 1998. Scott’s performance marked the 14th time in school history a freshman ran for 100 yards in a game.
The Duke offense has produced 18 plays of 20 or more yards in the first five games of the season.
The Blue Devils have four plays over 50 yards with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to Johnny Williams against Richmond, a 66-yard pass from Lewis to Austin Kelly at Kansas and passes of 74 yards (Lewis-to-Conner Vernon) and 55 yards (Lewis-to-Donovan Varner) against Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils had fi ve plays of at least 20 yards against N.C. Central, four against Richmond, two at Army and two at Kansas.
Tackles For Loss
Duke posted eight tackles for loss in each of the last two games with three sacks. Senior linebacker Vincent Rey had 1.5 tackles for loss in each of the last two games. Sophomore safety Matt Daniels also had 1.5 tackles for loss against Virginia Tech. Senior defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase had a team-high two tackles for loss against the Hokies and leads the squad with 4.5 TFLs on the season, despite missing two games.
Duke held N.C. Central to less than 200 yards of total offense last week and allowed just one offensive touchdown. The Eagles managed just 70 rushing yards and 111 passing yards for a total of 181 yards on the day. The last time the Blue Devils held an opponent under 200 yards of total offense was Sept. 6, 2003, when Western Carolina recorded 185 yards (4 rush, 181 pass).
Duke Holds NCCU Under 100 Rushing Yards
The Blue Devils’ defense limited N.C. Central to 70 rushing yards on 28 attempts last weekend. The Eagles averaged just 2.5 yards per carry with 11 carries going for either no gain or negative yardage. The last time Duke held a team under 100 yards rushing was Oct. 25, 2008 at Vanderbilt when the Blue Devils limited the Commodores to 81 yards on 32 attempts.
Oghobaase One Of Top Players In ACC
Oghobaase is one of the top defensive players in the ACC and in the country. In three games this season, Oghobaase has 21 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and 0.5 sacks. He has started in 39 career games with 149 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks, nine quarterback hurries and one blocked kick.
Oghobaase & Rey Among ACC Leaders
Vincent Rey ranks tied for second in the ACC with 9.0 tackles per game this season. Rey led the conference in tackles through the fi rst three weeks of the season, posting two games with 10 or more tackles. Rey had 14 tackles against Richmond and 10 at Army. Oghobaase is 10th in tackles for loss and third in tackles for loss per game.
Thornton Notches First 10-Tackle Game
Junior linebacker Damian Thornton led Duke with 10 tackles against Virginia Tech, his first career doubledigit tackle performance. Thornton topped his career high by six tackles. His previous best was four stops against Army and N.C. Central earlier this season. Entering the game, Thornton had 20 career tackles.
True Freshman Starts At LB Against Army
True freshman Tyree Glover drew his fi rst collegiate start at Army. He was the starting weakside linebacker for the Blue Devils and fi nished the game with four tackles, including two solo stops. The last true freshman to start at linebacker for Duke was Adam Banks in 2007.
Coverage Unit Sixth In Nation
Duke’s kickoff coverage unit is the second best in the ACC and ranks sixth in the nation in kickoff return yardage defense, allowing only 16.64 yards per return this season. Junior walk-on Will Snyderwine is averaging 59.6 yards per kickoff with one touchback. The Blue Devils have pinned their opponent inside the 20-yard line five times on 19 kickoffs.