Sons of Saturday Game Picks: Hokies Look to Move to 2-0 as They Travel to Duke
After a 45-24 blowout win last Saturday against the NC State Wolfpack, the Virginia Tech Hokies travel to Durham, North Carolina to face the win-less Duke Blue Devils.
After a 45-10 home loss to Duke last September in Blacksburg - the worst home loss in nearly 30 years - this game on Saturday can be seen as nothing less than a revenge game for the Hokies. On paper, Virginia Tech is the much better team, but the Blue Devils will look to build on the success they had against the Hokies a year ago and try to parlay it into another win against Tech on Saturday.
It won't be easy though, as Tech boasts one of the top offenses in the country, ranking second in the nation in yards per play (8.53 yards per play) after rushing for over 300 yards on the ground a week ago. Additionally, Justin Fuente is 9-1 against schools from the state of North Carolina since joining the Hokies in 2016.
All of our picks hit a week ago, as we all rolled with the Hokies. Let's see if we can keep it going this week.
Virginia Tech 51 Duke 10
As long as they are healthy, we will continue to see how integral line play is to win football games. Duke's OL is Swiss cheese and a catalyst for Chase Brice making some brutal throws. Expect a big day from the offense, and an ever bigger day from the defense.
Virginia Tech 42 Duke 13
Duke is 0-3, leads the country in turnovers, and faces a Virginia Tech team that got embarrassed by the Blue Devils on their home field a year ago. The Tech players won't forget that, especially as they face a team that lost by 20 to Boston College, who could barely beat Texas State last Saturday. Hokies win BIG here.
Virginia Tech 41 Duke 21
After the Blue Devils embarrassed the Hokies in Lane Stadium on national television last year there should be no problem getting the boys up for this one. However, as much as I want to predict the Hokies dropping a 50-burger on Duke, I'm trying not to overreact to Tech's excellent showing this past Saturday. I think Tech goes up big early and then takes their foot off the gas a bit, like we've seen them do in the past once they have a big lead on a team. Blue Devils get a trio of TDs but fail to really stop the Hokies in any way.
Virginia Tech 52 Duke 17
This one is a little personal to this team and they have something to prove. Look for a quick start here by the Hokies. They overmatch the Blue Devils on offense and Duke hasn't shown they can move the ball at all. Hartman hot take: All three QBs have a RUSHING touchdown in this one.
Virginia Tech 38 Duke 10
The Hokies proved in the opener they don't need a crowd to get fired up. This week is no different and if the game was played in an underground bunker with no witnesses Tech would still be beyond juiced up. That gives me pause as teams can certainly be too excited at times, leading to unforced errors. It's also the first road game meaning new procedures and safety measures that aren't a routine yet. I think it ends up being a comfortable Hokie victory but perhaps not quite the smashing everyone expects.
Virginia Tech 38 Duke 0
I know it's ambitious to pick a team to get shut out. But come on, it's Duke. The Blue Devils are 2nd-worst in the conference in scoring while their defense is giving up the 5th-most points. The Hokies are far and away the better team, and they have a bone to pick after last year. Not to mention, they're getting their QB1 back in Hendon Hooker. The Hokies will dominate the line of scrimmage as they did against NC State, and they will cruise to the first shutout of the Justin Hamilton (or Ryan Smith) era.
Virginia Tech 45 Duke 13
Duke may be the worst team in the ACC. So called "QB whisperer" David Cutcliffe's new guy Chase Brice has 2 TD's to 6 INT's, and consequently the Duke offense is only averaging 13 ppg. through 3 games. The defense hasn't helped much either, and I think that's where the Hokies can really dominate the game. I'd expect to see almost a carbon copy of last week's game where the Hokies feel pretty comfortable for 60 minutes.
Virginia Tech 45 Duke 10
Revenge game. It is very strange to type those words about a matchup against Duke but that is exactly what the mindset should be this week after last season's 45-10 blowout loss to the Blue Devils at home in Lane Stadium. Factor in that Duke is awful, VT seems to have rediscovered its early 2000s edge and I expect the Hokies to win in a blowout.
Virginia Tech 48 Duke 14
Duke is bad....so so so bad. They can barely get two TD's on the board and they are facing a Hokie team out for their heads. I think the good guys hits this one BIG even though the spread is not big at all.