Duke Blue Devils vs Stanford Cardinal
It was, for the most part, a good opening weekend of ACC football. The Duke Blue Devils used a 30-point 2nd quarter to accumulate a 20-point win over Florida International. Duke is looking to win consecutive games to start a season for the first time since 1998, and its first road victory over a ranked team since 1971. Ironically, it’s against the Stanford Cardinals the No. 25 team in the country, and the same program who beat them convincingly in a 44-14 victory last season.
The ultimate match up to key on for the Blue Devils is the running game of Stanford, a strategy well used by most defensive coordinators to force new quarterbacks into throwing situations. Nunes completed 16 of 26 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. The major factor for Duke is avoiding mistakes on offense and creating them on defensive.
Of all the responsibilities the defense has, the most important is to force them into third downs, which by the numbers is a good thing. Last week, the Cardinals were 2 for 13 on third downs. Simply put, they have to capitalize on every opportunity they have in order to win; duly noted by head coach David Cutcliffe and his coaching staff. Quaterback Sean Renfree, has to play well as he’s coming off a 21 of 30 for 290 yards, and two score performance. The Cardinals have a 2-1 lead in the series with last year’s win. Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils are fully aware of what’s at stake and are looking to even the score.