Army Black Knights at Duke Blue Devils
- Start Time: 7:00 PM ET
- Location:Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
- TV: ESPNU
- Weather: 78 degrees at kick with an 8% chance of rain
- Line: Duke -14
- O/U: 45
- FPI:Duke 93.3%
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils are coming off of a 7-6 season that saw a bowl victory over Northern Illinois. They biggest win was against Northwestern a team who ended up ranked 17thin the AP Poll
The 2018 Duke team returns 14 starters(7-7 split). Their WR core is really deep, three senior starters and two junior backups. They are led by T.J. Rahming, his stats don’t pop off the page as a clear cut number one(795 yards, two touchdowns) but he will be QB Daniel Jones’ go to guy this season. The junior, Daniel Jones is one the most slept on QB’s in the ACC. Last season Jones threw for 2,691 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. The 11 interceptions isn’t pretty but I think that will go down this year.
HOT TAKE:Duke will have a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time since 2003. Brittain Brown will be the guy to do it; Brown is considered to be faster and slightly more physical than Chris Douglas was in 2003 when he rushed for 1,138 yards.
Duke has their best defensive front in school history, they are returning three starters on the line. Their best player however, is All-American MLB Joe Giles-Harris(125 tackles, 4.5 sacks) he is joined by Ben Humphreys(70 tackles).
Army Black Knights
Army is coming off of their first ten win season and winning their first CIC Trophy since 1996. Highlight wins are a 21-0 shutout of Air Force in Colorado, a thrilling 14-13 victory over Navy, and a bowl victory over SDSU.
The Ahmad Bradshaw era is over but the Kelvin Hopkins era. Hopkins isn’t as good of a runner as Bradshaw but he brings a passing attack that Bradshaw lacked. Monken can open the playbook up a little more with Hopkins. Expect to see more passing out of the Black Knights this year.
The running backs and fullbacks positions are the deepest Army has seen in a long time, maybe even ever. Kell Walker leads the running back core of Jordan Asberry, Fred Cooper, and Jordan Blackman. Fullbacks are led by Darnell Woolfolk, but Andy Davidson, Connor Slomka, and Calen Holt could all start for the Black Knights and the offense wouldn’t miss a beat.
On the defensive side of the ball they return eight starters. Led by their linebacking core of Kenneth Brinson, James Nachtigal(103 tackles, 5 sacks), and Cole Christiansen this defense is poised for a big year. The secondary is really deep, expect a huge year from Elijah Riley. I could even seeing him picking off Jones come Friday night.
The spread and FPI puzzle me with this game. Army is a better team on paper than Duke. I guess people don’t trust the new QB for Army or just really love Duke at home; but either way I think this game will be very close. These two teams know each other well(played each of the last three seasons) so the triple option won’t be a surprise to the Duke defense. Duke will win if they can stop the fullback dive, but if Army gets that going which leads to the play action pass, Army will win. I think the Black Knights get that dive rolling and Hopkins shows a national TV audience that Army QB’s can throw the football.
Army 28-Duke 24