Duke Football: Mataeo Durant needs more carries

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Mataeo Durant had five carries for 59 yards and one score for Duke football in its loss to Boston College this past weekend. Here’s a breakdown of why he needs more carries on Saturday against Virginia.

Averages more yards

Durant’s rushing yards may be less than Deon Jackson’s per game, but with enough carries he can make a major impact for the Blue Devils each week. In the game against Boston College, he scored Duke’s lone touchdown with a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

After that, he was hardly used for the rest of the game. I thought that was interesting, because you have a player that just made an explosive play, then he is rarely used after that. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I want the Blue Devils to give Durant more touches next game. They are 0-2 and something must change. It is hard to jump start your offense if no running game is present. Durant can give them that spark Duke is missing. It’s still too early to tell if Durant will make that sort of an impact, but they have to try something before it gets later into the season.

Opens up passing game

Chase Brice struggled in the game against Boston College. Having a consistent running game will help the Blue Devils put up more consistent offensive drives and open the passing game. Without a running game the defense doesn’t need to commit an extra defender to the pass rush, which will result in a continuation of Brice’s struggles.

Looking forward

While I want Duke to give more carries to Durant, that doesn’t mean he should completely take over either. Jackson is still a talented running back. Duke should make Jackson and Durant into a strong duo and give both of them the same amount of carries.

This duo will make their opponents have to prepare for two backs instead of one and will prevent them from getting gassed late in the game. The key to doing this is for Duke to still commit to the running game overall. Giving up on the run doesn’t help the team or their offense. It will help out Chase Brice, as he still is adjusting to being a starting quarterback.

I think this duo has a chance to be great this season. I think Durant can be used for the more explosive plays since he is the lighter back and Jackson can be used more when the Blue Devils are in goal line situations. Only time will tell what Jackson and Durant can do this season, but one thing remains certain, something has got to change.