BLACKSBURG, Va. – Duke coach David Cutcliffe must have been proud of the first career NFL start by former Blue Devils player Daniel Jones, but the quarterback whisperer couldn't be more pleased with his current signal caller. Quentin Harris hopes to build off his record-setting performance as Duke opens ACC play at Virginia Tech on Friday night.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Virginia Tech -2.5
Jones threw for 336 yards with two touchdowns and no picks and added a pair of running scores as the New York Giants overcame their largest halftime deficit in 70 years - 18 points - in a 32-31 victory over Tampa Bay last weekend. Harris, however, has accomplished something Jones never did, tying Dave Brown's school record with a total of eight touchdown passes in consecutive games and becoming the first Power Five signal caller since Louisville's Lamar Jackson in 2016 to throw four touchdowns and run for 100 yards when he passed for 237 and four scores and ran for 107 in the Blue Devils' 41-18 win over Middle Tennessee State two weeks ago. "Quentin was absolutely perfect. He put it where our guys could catch it and our guys caught it," Cutcliffe said of Harris, who completed 24-of-27, including his first 12. "I don't think we can be much better than that." Virginia Tech, which is also coming off a bye week, struggled two weeks ago against FCS foe Furman, trailing by 11 at the half, before putting away the Paladins 24-17 thanks to a pair of two second-half TDs by wide receiver Tre Turner.
ABOUT DUKE (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Harris, who had a career-long 65-yard run against the Blue Raiders, also threw four TD passes in a 45-13 victory over North Carolina A&T after completing 12-of-22 for 97 yards with two interceptions in a 42-3 loss at No. 2 Alabama in the season opener. Harris is completing 72.5 percent of his 91 passes for 679 yards, and leads the team in rushing with 204 yards and six yards per carry, while Deon Jackson has added 177 yards and 3.9 per tote. Senior safety Dylan Singleton, the Devils' leading returning tackler (73), has led the team in tackles in all three games and has 28 for the season to go along with a fumble recovery and 1.5 tackles for loss.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (2-1, 0-1)
Quarterback Ryan Willis (62-of-96, 739 yards, 7 touchdowns) has gotten off to a shaky start, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble, and fans even applauded loudly when he was replaced by Herndon Hooker for a few minutes against Furman. "Playing the position poorly is not very fun. I know it because I've done it - a lot," said Hokies coach Justin Fuente, who set 11 records at Murray State after two seasons at Oklahoma. "But it can also fuel your fire and desire to improve and find a way to play it well. … I think he's done a good job of trying to stay focused on the task at hand. It's a difficult job it's a difficult position. He understands that." Keshawn King rushed for 119 yards in his first collegiate start against the Paladins, including a 54-yard run, to become the first freshman running back with 100 yards in a game since J.C. Coleman had 183 in 2012 against Duke.
1. The Hokies have dominated the series, winning 16 of 18 since 1982, including the last three. However, the home team has dropped five of the last six with four upsets.
2. Blue Devils QB Thomas Sirk matched Harris's output from last week, throwing four TD passes and running for 109 yards in a 45-43, four-overtime victory over the Hokies in 2015.
3. Turner, a sophomore wide receiver who has caught a pass in all 15 games he's played, hauled in a 2-yard TD pass from Willis that provided the Hokies a 17-14 edge against Furman and added a 29-yard TD run to provide a 10-point edge with five minutes left. Turner's 68 yards rushing were a career high.
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 26, Duke 24