Georgia Tech Football vs Duke Blue Devils: Gameday Guide

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 1: Ramblin' Wreck of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets enters the field prior to their game against the Alcorn State Braves at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 1: Ramblin' Wreck of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets enters the field prior to their game against the Alcorn State Braves at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to take on the conference rival, the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Wallace Wade Stadium (Durham, NC) – 12:30 pm – Weather – Odds: Duke  (-17)

Last week, Georgia Tech’s offense for the first time this season showed some life but the Jackets still ended up on the losing end of 38-22 game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. On Saturday afternoon, the Jackets will look to get their second win of the Geoff Collins era under their belt and their first conference win against the Duke Blue Devils.

Vegas oddmakers do not like the Yellow Jackets chances at all this week with the Blue Devils entering Saturday’s matchup as nearly three touchdown favorites over the Yellow Jackets.

The Blue Devils like the Yellow Jackets are looking to get back into the win column after falling to the Pittsburgh Panthers last week. The Blue Devils were uncharacteristic in their play against the Panthers with five turnovers offensively.

Georgia Tech offense vs Duke defense:

Georgia Tech’s offense last week had their best performance of the season last week and will look to build some momentum on that side of the ball. That being said, they’ll have a tough challenge by going up against the Blue Devils defense. The Blue Devils don’t give up much on the ground which means if the Jackets are going to have to move the ball through the air, at least partially. That means starting quarterback James Graham will need to have a big day for the Yellow Jackets if they hope to pull off this upset.

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Georgia Tech defense vs North Carolina offense:

For the first time last week, we saw the Georgia Tech secondary have a poor performance. The Jackets let true freshman quarterback Sam Howell do what he wished last Saturday en route to over 300-yards passing and four passing touchdowns. This week, they’ll go up against a solid passing attack in Duke and quarterback Quinten Harris. Harris had a rough game against Pittsburgh last week but has been solid this season for the most part.

Duke’s rushing attack can also be quite dangerous and if the Jackets front seven can’t stop Duke’s run game, the Yellow Jackets will be in trouble from the start. Stopping the rush has been Georgia Tech’s biggest weakness all season and nothing so far has made it appear the Jackets will be able to do on Saturday.

Georgia Tech Special Teams vs Duke Special Teams

The Yellow Jackets special teams this year has been a strength of their team. The same can be said about the Blue Devils this season as their special teams have been money throughout the season.

In the kicking game, place kicker AJ Reed is perfect this season in both field goals  (6-for-6) and extra point attempts (18-for-18). Punter Austin Parker has been solid throughout the season, averaging over 41-yards per punt.

In the return game, Duke can be dangerous, in their 12 kickoff returns this season, the Blue Devils are averaging 18.5 yards per return. They’re punt returns have been great as well, averaging 10.4 yards per return over nine punt returns.


Overall, it’s easy to see that the Blue Devils so far this season have been the better team. Whether that comes to having better talent or being better coached, the Blue Devils are the better team on Saturday. That being said, if the Jackets offense can gain some momentum and carry over some from last week, they could potentially make this a game. The Jackets defense, however, will have to bounce back from their performance last week.

Players to Watch:

Duke: RB Deon Jackson

A true all-purpose back, Deon Jackson has a total of 403-yards from the line of scrimmage this season with 292 rushing yards and 111 receiving yards. He’s averaging 4.7 yards from the line of scrimmage and also has scored five touchdowns on the season. He’s a dangerous player that can hurt opposing defenses in multiple ways and the Yellow Jackets will need to have eyes on Jackson at all-times.

Georgia Tech: QB James Graham

We’re going to go with James Graham as our player to watch because if the Jackets are going to pull off the upset on Saturday, it’s going to be because of Graham. The Jackets passing attack had it’s best showing last week with Graham behind center and while it wasn’t perfect, it was a start. Can Graham take a big step forward in his second career start?


Bronston Tankersly: 42-28 Duke

Bronston has the Blue Devils winning Saturday afternoon’s matchup but the Yellow Jackets beating the spread for the first time this season.

Matthew Summers: 38-24 Duke

Matthew like Bronston has the Yellow Jackets taking the loss on Saturday but once again covering the spread.

Dylan Callaghan-Croley: 31-20 Duke

I personally think the Yellow Jakets have a chance of keeping this one close for a while and I think there’s a chance it may get away at some point and is a 31-13 game but the Yellow Jackets will get a late touchdown and cover the spread against the Blue Devils.