Duke football: Chase Brice shows improvement

duke football

Duke football lost to Virginia Tech 38-31 and fell to 0-4. However, Clemson transfer quarterback Chase Brice showed improvement, and most importantly took care of the ball for the most part.

Chase Brice

Brice only turned the ball over once after last week’s abysmal four-interception game against Virginia. Brice performed well if this game and if he continues to improve, Duke might win some games this year. He didn’t force a lot of throws like he did the past two weeks. He threw for 271 yards and one touchdown.

There will still be doubts, but this was a step in the right direction. Not just for Duke in general, but for Brice to save his job as well. It was a team loss, and Duke was in the game from start to finish, but things went wrong on both sides of the ball.

Running game

Mataeo Durant led the way in rushing yards for Duke with 86 yards on 11 carries. Deon Jackson had a respectable game as well, with 68 yards on 15 carries. Duke seemed to commit to the running game a little bit more, but not as much as I would like just yet.

Brice threw the ball 39 times. That number should drop to around 32 and for the remainder of snaps to be devoted to the running game. It’s hard to do that when you are behind in the game and essentially forced to throw. However, Duke lost the time of possession battle, and running the ball can help correct that. Running the ball leads to longer drives in the game and will also make the defense gassed towards the end of the game, when Duke may be forced to throw it.

Duke defense

The Duke defense and special teams played well. The special team unit was able to capitalize on a muffed punt by Tayvion Robinson that lead to a Duke touchdown. Along with that, Duke’s defense forced another fumble and get an interception as well. Duke’s offense didn’t capitalize on that fumble the defense created towards the end of the game with Virginia Tech leading 31-28.

This was a team loss, and that’s where Duke’s defense come in. Duke’s defense could not stop Khalil Herbert at all. He ran for 208 yards on just 20 carries and two touchdowns. He also was a big help in the return game that gave Virginia Tech great field position. Herbert nearly had a third touchdown after running 83 yards on a kickoff return to the Duke 16-yard line but stepped out of bounds. This cannot happen again because it resulted in the Hokies winning the time of possession.

Looking forward

Duke is favored to win this next game against Syracuse (1-2), but just barely. If the defense steps up to stop the running game this week and the offense puts up another performance like that, the Blue Devils can get their first win of the season Also, if they can win the turnover battle, Duke should win this game. Duke wins this game 28-24.