Duke football vs. NC State preview

Duke football has a tough matchup this week against NC State. Both teams are trying to keep themselves in the win column this weekend. Let’s look at both teams starting with Duke.

Duke offense

This offense has been struggling this year but finally had something to be happy about last week. Chase Brice showed some improvement these past two weeks, but if Duke is going to salvage the season, it must take care of the ball and win the turnover battle. Duke’s running dynamic duo of Mataeo Durant and Deon Jackson showed out last week. They both ran for over 150 yards each last week against Syracuse, it’s hard to beat that. That should be Duke’s main focus again this week and to keep that Wolfpack offense off the field.

Duke defense

Before the running game got going, this defense was the reason Duke still had a chance to win every week. It’s done a good job forcing turnovers and getting sacks this season. It has a total of 18 sacks, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries this season. If the defense keeps doing that, there shouldn’t be any reason to worry, as long as the offense takes care of the ball. The defense needs to focus on stopping the run, and it’s something it has struggled with this year, but only a little.

NC State offense

The Wolfpack offense looks pretty good this year. It has a young quarterback in Devin Leary, who has been playing well this season. He has six touchdowns with only one interception in the last two games. This includes a four-touchdown game against a then-ranked No. 25 Pitt team.

The Blue Devils’ defense has struggled a little bit this year when it comes to stopping the run. It needs to worry about Leary, but time of possession is important. When you can’t stop the run it’s hard to get your offense out there to put some points on the scoreboard. The Blue Devils need to lock down Zonovan Knight and make Leary beat them. Knight played well this year. He ran for 90 or more yards three times this year. Look for NC State to use him early in this game.

NC State defense

This defense hasn’t been playing as well as Duke’s this season, but it does enough. The Wolfpack defense has been getting sacks and forcing turnovers just like Duke. It has a total of 12 sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Like last week, Brice must take care of the ball. NC State will take advantage just like Syracuse did. Duke’s offensive line must step up and protect its quarterback as well.


If Duke controls the clock, it will win this game. This game will be high scoring, and turnovers will be the deciding factor. If Durant and Jackson combine for at least 170 rushing yards, Duke football will win this game with a final score of 35-31.