Duke faces Charlotte at Wallace Wade Stadium in its lone non-conference game this season. The Blue Devils will be looking for their second win in three games, coming off a bye week that followed a 1-5 start to the year.
Charlotte is off to a 2-2 start on the season, including 1-2 on the road. They’ve won two straight, over North Texas and UTEP.
The 49ers have had three games cancelled or postponed already this season, including a scheduled showdown with another in-state ACC team, UNC.
Charlotte has never beaten a Power Five team and will be looking to snap that streak against the Blue Devils.
While Duke is likely the more talented team, several matchups favor the 49ers, who are doing well in areas where the Blue Devils have been plagued by problems this season. Charlotte is twelfth in the nation in time of possession, keeping the ball an average of 33:19 per game. Duke, meanwhile, has struggled late in game on defense, giving up explosive plays that are at least partially due to a season-long conditioning issue that coaches and players have discussed multiple times.
If Charlotte can keep the Duke defense on the field, it will open the door for more game-breaking plays late.
Charlotte is also sixth in the country in red zone defense, stopping teams 41 percent of the time. Duke has struggled close to the goal line, seeing multiple drives stall out in the red zone.
The 49ers are also twelfth in the country in turnover margin averaging one more takeaway than giveaway so far this year. Turnovers have been Duke’s biggest problem on the season.
Duke will be playing with its third string center after Will Taylor had knee surgery this week. Starting center will be true freshman Graham Barton, who stepped in after Taylor went down at NC State in the last game.