The bye week couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for the Duke Football team.
There last two games to Florida State and Clemson ended up being particularly hard on the Blue Devils as the two top teams in the ACC
handily beat Duke by a combined score of 104-27. It was pretty ugly to watch and considering how beat up the Blue Devils were headed into the games it is a wonder the injury report didn’t grow exponentially.
So the fact that after two weeks and eight quarter of just brutal football, the Blue Devils were rewarded with some much needed time off to heal and hopefully refocus on a very important two game stretch to end the regular season.
If you have forgotten at 6-4 (3-3 ACC) Duke is very much in the mix for winning the ACC Coastal Division and if they win their remaining two games against Georgia Tech and Miami they will accomplish that feat.
The Blue Devils though aren’t good enough to think about such things and there full attention should be on playing their next game.
While both of their remaining games are winnable, there are no guarantees in either. And if you are trying to use the transitive property to justify Duke’s chances of winning both or either game then stop, because that doesn’t mean anything. If that actually worked Duke would have beaten Virginia Tech and they clearly did not.
Duke going into their next game against the Yellow Jackets will hopefully be healthy or at least healthier than prior to the bye week. Quarterback Sean Renfree was beat up. Defensive end Kenny Anunike, safety Brandon Braxton also missed all of the Clemson game.
Those are just a few of the guys that have been bruised and beat up during the course of the year, so getting anyone back for this final stretch is very important.
The week off also gave the Blue Devils extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech’s unique spread option offense that ranks 18th in the country in scoring offense. But a week off apparently doesn’t always matter as the Yellow Jackets posted an impressive 68 points against North Carolina’s defense that also had two weeks to prepare.
Duke is going to need to be extremely disciplined and focused trying to slow down the Georgia Tech offense. I’ll get more into the keys of this game later but it is going to require a solid performance from the offense as well and given how the Yellow Jackets defense has struggled this season, the opportunity is going to be there.
An important thing not to over look is the fact that Duke cannot come out complacent. There is a lot of talk about Duke still being in the ACC Coast Division title and improving their bowl status, but all that means nothing if they come out flat against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
So not only do the Blue Devils need to be focused on the field they need to ignore the off field distractions. They have to play the game Saturday like it is the last game they will play. Chances are, they weren’t able to have as much contact in their preparations so they have to brace themselves for a physical game.
They cannot let fan and media talk about their season and championship game potential take away from the importance of playing such an important game this late in the season. Duke has to play the rest of the season one week at a time and this week 100 percent of the focus has to be on Georgia Tech.
If it isn’t then it could be another week of rough football to watch.
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