DURHAM, N.C. – Duke coach David Cutcliffe would have preferred the Blue Devils not to trail 26-3 late in the third quarter last week, but hopes the lessons learned from a late comeback that eventually fell short pays off starting Saturday at home against Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils were down 23 points with less than three minutes left against Pittsburgh last week but rallied to go ahead by four points. before a touchdown with 38 seconds remaining resulted in a 33-30 setback.
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, RSN. LINE: Duke -17.5
"They showed a bunch of heart," Cutcliffe told reporters after the game, which snapped Duke's three-game winning streak following an opening-week loss to top-ranked Alabama. "We did not perform efficiently on offense. What we can't do out of this is hang our head. We're going to learn a lot from this game." Fifth-year senior quarterback Quentin Harris accounted for three touchdowns but also committed five turnovers, including three lost fumbles and two interceptions. The Yellow Jackets fell 38-22 last week against North Carolina, seeing their losing streak stretch to three games as they gave up 587 yards of total offense. It was another slow start for the Georgia Tech offense, which has yet to score in the first quarter this season, but the Yellow Jackets did score 22 points in the second half after trailing 17-0 at halftime.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (1-4, 0-2 ACC)
The Yellow Jackets finished with a season-best 321 yards of total offense against North Carolina, as freshman quarterback James Graham completed 11-of-24 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in his first start. "We started to find a little bit of rhythm and had some explosive plays," Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins told reporters postgame, as his team continues learning a spread pro-style offense. Sophomore running back Jordan Mason leads the Yellow Jackets with 319 yards rushing and five touchdowns, gaining 62 yards on eight carries with a score last week.
ABOUT DUKE (3-2, 1-1)
Harris rushed for two touchdowns against Pittsburgh, and in his past four games has rushed for 329 yards and four touchdowns while completing 92-of-139 passes for 910 yards and 11 scores in that span. Junior running back Deon Jackson has rushed for 292 yards and three touchdowns on the season, while freshman receiver Jalon Calhoun has caught three touchdowns and is second on the team with 23 receptions. Senior linebacker Koby Quansah leads the Blue Devils and ranks third in the ACC with 48 tackles, reaching double figures in each of his past two games.
1. After scoring just three points against Alabama, the Blue Devils are averaging 40.3 points across their past four contests.
2. Georgia Tech junior LB David Curry set a career high against North Carolina with 16 tackles, the most by a Georgia Tech defender since 2005.
3. Duke junior K AJ Reed is 6-for-6 on field-goal attempts, including a career-long 50-yarder Sept. 7 against North Carolina A&T.
PREDICTION: Duke 37, Georgia Tech 17