After a brutal start to the schedule for Georgia Tech, they will get an opportunity to face Duke in week six, a game they should be favored in at home. If the Yellow Jackets are hoping to make a bowl game in head coach Geoff Collins's fourth season, they are going to have to find a way to beat Duke.
Duke has moved on from the David Cutcliffe era and is now led by former Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Elko showed a great ability as a defensive coach and he is hoping it won't take him long to turn this program around
The Blue Devils were a solid program for most of Cutcliffe's time in Durham, but things started to grow stale and Duke cratered last season. After starting 3-1, Duke finished the season with eight straight losses, most of them by double digits. The one exception was the game against Georgia Tech, in which the Yellow Jackets only won by four points.
Georgia Tech currently has a two-game winning streak over Duke, but the Blue Devils have had success against Tech. From 2014-2019, Duke won five of six games vs Georgia Tech.
So how do the Blue Devils look heading into 2022? Let's take a look
2022 Duke Blue Devils
2022 Duke Blue Devils
Duke Offensive Lineman Jacob Monk
Duke Wide receiver Jalon Calhoun
Duke Running Back Jordan Waters
Duke Quarterback Riley Leonard
Duke had an average offense last season, but this year could really be a struggle.
Last year's starting quarterback Gunnar Holmberg is gone and it is going to be a competition between Jordan Moore and Riley Leonard. Neither QB has much experience, but my read on it is that Moore is going to start the season under center in week one against Temple. It could be a competition that carries over into the season.
The Duke offense is going to really miss star-running Mateo Durant this season. Durant was one of the most underrated runners in the ACC last season and his production will be hard to replace. Last season's third-leading rusher Jordan Waters is going to be the top backfield option for Duke this season.
Last year's leading receiver Jake Bobo transferred to UCLA, but Jalon Calhoun is a nice guy to have as the top option. The rest of the group has a lot to prove and this is not one of the better groups in the ACC.
The position group that was strongest for the Blue Devils' offense last season was the offensive line and it could be solid again. Right Guard Jacob Monk is a legit All-ACC candidate and will be the leader up front.
There is no sugarcoating it, Duke had one of the worst defenses in the nation last season and there is nowhere to go but up.
The numbers for the 2021 Duke defense are just flat-out bad. 127th in scoring defense, 117th in rushing defense, 129th in passing defense and 130th in total defense. During the eight-game losing streak to end the season, Duke allowed at least 31 points in every game and at least 45 in six of them.
Last year's leading pass rusher DeWayne Carter is back up front after having 4.5 sacks last season and he will be the leader on the line. True freshman Vincent Anthony figures to get playing time as Duke's highest-rated recruit.
Senior linebacker Shaka Heyward is back after having 97 tackles and three sacks and he will be joined again by the fourth-leading tackler Dorian Mausi.
The secondary is a huge question mark for the Blue Devils but it is hard to see it being much worse in 2022.
Duke is the one team that I can feel confident that Georgia Tech should be better than in 2022. Elko might get the program trending in the right direction, but there are too many question marks at nearly every position to think that the Blue Devils can win more than one or two games.
Georgia Tech should be favored at home against Duke and they will be trying to make it three in a row against the Blue Devils.
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