Duke closes out its non-conference schedule today when they travel to West Point to take on the Army Black Knights.
The Blue Devils (4-1, 2-0 ACC) are looking to get one final tune up prior to heading into the heart of the ACC schedule which includes a big Coastal showdown with Virginia Tech who got a shot in the arm by beating NC State Friday night.
There should be no looking past Army who has lost four close games by a touchdown or less and for the Blue Devils whose offense which has struggled to put up points they aren’t going to necessarily find things easy going.
You can call this a win already, and the line on the game favors the Blue Devils by 13 points, but the way the offense has played at times they may not be able to score 13 points.
Defensively the Blue Devils have continued to impress and are arguably the top defense in the Coastal division, and thus far it looks like Duke may go as far as its defense and special teams can take them.
Lead by Jeremy Cash, DeVon Edwards, Duke was able to knock off one of the Coastal favorites, Georgia Tech two weeks ago, without much help from the offense and last week kicker Ross Martin with the help of the defense beat Boston College.
Against Army, the talent level isn’t as high, but the work ethic is second to none. The Dark Knights will fight and you can probably expect a closer game than the odds makers expect.
Duke will need to limit Ahmad Bradshaw, Army’s quarterback and leading rusher. Offensively Duke has to get quarterback Thomas Sirk and the running game which struggled against Boston College (0.9 yards per carry for 31 total yards).
It won’t be easy but this is a game Duke should and really must win. A loss and a 4-1 start could soon be long forgotten if the wheels fall off, but a win puts Duke at 5-1 and only one more win away from becoming bowl eligible for the fourth straight year.
The Blue Devils should have their sights set higher than just bowl eligibility and need to use this game to fine tune things before they make their run at the ACC Championship game.
Duke- 21 Army-10