Two ACC teams looking to keep their conference title game hopes alive square off when the Duke Blue Devils take on the Florida State Seminoles.
Duke is No. 16 in the country at 5-1 with their one loss to Notre Dame. The Blue Devils clobbered NC State last week 24-3. The fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles are undefeated fresh off of a dominant 41-3 outing against Syracuse last weekend. Where can you watch this ACC showdown?
What Channel Airs the Duke-Florida State Game?
Duke @ Florida State
- Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: ABC
- Odds: Florida State -14
- Over/Under Total: 49
Some of the shine has come off this game with Duke quarterback Riley Leonard injured. Head coach Mike Elko said Leonard is day-to-day with his ankle injury, but he missed last week’s game against NC State. Leonard was considered one of the best quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL draft over the summer but has struggled this season and hurt his ankle on the last play of the Notre Dame game.
However, left tackle Graham Barton returned from injury last week, bolstering Duke’s offense immensely. Barton is 50th on the PFN 2024 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board and OT7.
Duke’s offense revolves around the rushing attack of Jordan Waters and Leonard. Even if Leonard returns for this game, his mobility will likely be affected, putting most of the onus on Waters. Fortunately, Waters has proven he can carry a rushing attack, and his nine touchdowns sit sixth in the country.
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Florida State’s defense boasts NFL talent of its own, and none more so than pass rusher Jared Verse. Verse may be the first defensive player drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it’s easy to see why on film. Next to him is defensive tackle Braden Fiske, a transfer from Western Michigan, who has been disruptive up front all season.
Linebacker Kalen DeLoach plays a variety of roles for the Seminoles, from rushing the passer to matchup up with tight ends and receivers in coverage, but he’s one of the best athletes on the team and can be a weakside linebacker in the NFL.
Allowing these defensive linemen to tee off and rush freely is a secondary full of NFL talent. Cornerbacks Fentrell Cypress III, a Virginia transfer, and Renardo Green have combined for seven pass breakups this season. Florida State has allowed just three passing touchdowns on the season.
The matchup to watch in this game is the Florida State offense against Duke’s defense. Two of the best units in the country will go head-to-head all game, and the winner of this battle wins the game.
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has passed for 1,482 passing yards and 15 touchdowns with just one interception this season. Travis is throwing to two outstanding wide receivers in Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, who form one of the best duos at any position in college football. Coleman will likely finish the season as a Biletnikoff Award finalist as the best receiver in CFB.
Behind Travis is a talented running back group with Trey Benson and Lawrance Toafili. Benson’s 463 rushing yards are fifth in the ACC, and the duo has combined for eight touchdowns on the ground this season.
Paving the way for them is a Florida State offensive line recently named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll. Right tackle Jeremiah Byers is a superb run blocker and has allowed just one sack this season.
Duke’s defense is one of the most physical units in the country. Defensive tackles DeWayne Carter and Aeneas Peebles form one of the best duos up front and set the tone for Duke’s defense.
However, Duke’s secondary takes the cake for the best unit on the team. Like Florida State, Duke has allowed just three passing touchdowns this season. Yet, Duke is allowing the fewest yards per attempt in the conference. This unit isn’t the most productive secondary in college football, but they play opposing receivers tough and tackle well to limit YAC.
Cornerback Myles Jones against Coleman and Wilson will be one of the best matchups of the week, as Jones is 6’4″ and can keep up with the height of Coleman and Wilson better than virtually any other corner the duo has faced this season.
With Leonard’s health in question for this game, Duke will rely on their rushing game and defense to keep pace with Florida State’s talented team.
FSU has been inconsistent this season and could be challenged by Duke’s physicality in this matchup. However, Florida State has the talent advantage across the board. This game could be one of the best schematic matchups of the season between two elite units.
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