Georgia Tech’s season couldn’t have started off in a better fashion. A 70-0 win to Elon is definitely a way to get your players hyped up, and a nice way to get the early season bugs out of the way. With that said, while Duke is no ACC power, they are miles ahead of the Phoenix.
Opponent – Duke Blue Devils (1-0)
Time/TV – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU
The biggest focus for this game is the quarterback position for Duke. With Sean Renfree off to the NFL with the Falcons, Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette have taken the reins.
Last week against Memphis, Boone was 11-16 through the air for 99 yards and threw one pick. The Yellow Jackets shouldn’t have to worry too much about him, however, with Brandon Connette most likely getting the start. He performed much better in the game against Memphis, as well, as he was 14-21 for 198 yards including two touchdowns and no picks.
For Georgia Tech, Vad Lee is easily the best QB on the field regardless of who is starting opposite him. In the Elon game, he was an efficient 7-11 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 49 yards and another TD on the ground. I don’t think Duke is anywhere close to being able to shut down an impressive triple-option offense with an extremely talented QB in charge of it all.
If Connette does get the start (he really should be), then the Yellow Jackets will have to respect the running game from him. From The Rumble Seat identifies him as a run-first quarterback, and with 14 rushing attempts in his limited time against Memphis, the title seems to hold up. However, he only piled up 31 yards (2.2 avg.) so he can definitely be stopped with the right scheme.
While this game is going to be much better than the Elon Game in Week 2, it still looks like Georgia Tech is going to run away with a win. Vad Lee at the helm of this offense should be too much for Duke to handle, and even though they might allow points on the board for the first time this season, the defense should be able to contain a fairly inexperienced Brandon Connette.
Last year, the Yellow Jackets took down the Blue Devils by a score of 42-24 in Atlanta, but this year, the contest will be in Durham, North Carolina. While I don’t think this will add too much in terms of the end result, Duke did manage to take down a much better North Carolina team at home last year, so keep that in mind as the Jackets take to the road.
Stay tuned for a game thread coming on Saturday morning, and join us in the comments!