Devils and Demons have always thrived in the month of October, but Saturday at 12 p.m. inside Wallace Wade Stadium only one will prevail as the Blue Devils of Duke University (2-4, 0-3 in the ACC) take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2) in a crucial ACC football matchup.
Both teams come into the game with pejorative streaks, as the Blue Devils own an ACC-record 27-consecutive conferences losses and the Demon Deacons have dropped three of their last four after a surprising 2-0 start.
Duke hopes to end its losing ways, as the Blue Devils have won more games (53) against Wake Forest than any other team in college football.
Even with their recent struggles, the Demon Deacons prove to be a significant threat with their convoluted offense that beats teams with shrewdness as much as talent.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cory Randolph and sophomore running back Chris Barclay lead the Deacons' offensive attack, which is third in the ACC in yards gained on the ground.
Randolph is averaging 27.7 rushing yards a game this season to add to his 158.2 passing yards per game.
"[Randolph] is a very good runner," Duke head coach Carl Franks said.
Barclay averages 62 yards per game, but has looked especially impressive of late, running for a career-high 124 yards last week in Wake Forest's disappointing 24-7 loss to Georgia Tech.
"We lacked intensity last Saturday," Barclay said. "That's what we're going to try and capitalize on in future games. To come out with intensity like our hair is on fire and play every snap like it's our last one. Duke has good players, scholarship players, and they're going to come out and play. They have a lot of talent on that team and I think it will be a good game. We're both trying to get a win and those guys are really playing hard."
Saturday, Duke will attempt to build on the impressive statistics it accumulated in its 33-20 loss to Maryland a week ago. The Blue Devils compiled more rushing yards, passing yards, plays, first-downs, net yards and time of possession than the Terrapins last week.
"[We did better in] every stat except the one that counts," Franks said.
The recap of the Maryland game was eerily similar to the Blue Devils' 36-10 loss to Wake Forest last season. Duke had seven more first downs, 86 more rushing yards, and 28 more passing yards than the Deacons despite the 26-point deficit. The Blue Devils believe they have made the necessary adjustments to find a way to win.
"I think we can win," cornerback Kenneth Stanford said at a press conference Monday. "If we can eliminate the things we did [last] Saturday, we definitely stand a good chance of winning."
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