In their first game since losing star QB Daniel Jones to a broken clavicle, the Blue Devils will be forced to slow their offensive tempo down a notch with backup Quentin Harris in the game, as the junior signal caller runs a predominantly run-oriented offense. Duke cannot afford to get into a shootout with a run-and-gun Baylor team, and the defense will need to step up.

The Bears have a completely revamped roster from the squad that went 1-11 last year, and have looked sharp in their two wins this season, albeit against lesser opponents. Their offense has put up an impressive 46 points per game thus far, led by a lethal air attack.

The Blue Devils’ front seven will need to be clicking on all cylinders to stop dual-threat quarterback Charlie Brewer. In the clip from Baylor’s win over The University of Texas at San Antonio, the Roadrunners send great pressure on the left side of the line, forcing Brewer to move. Fortunately for the Bears, the B gap opens up and the running back makes a great block on the late blitz by the linebacker, creating a one-on-one with the other linebacker, who Brewer beats easily for a first down.

It will be crucial for Duke’s line to get a good push and make Brewer uncomfortable, and for the linebacking core of Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys to spy the Baylor QB and neutralize any runs.

Brewer is also very comfortable rolling out of the pocket and making throws on the run from either side of the field. When the UTSA edge rusher is able to beat the tackle on the inside, Brewer rolls out to his left and gets the seal from the tackle to gain some space. Although he doesn’t pick up the first down, Brewer hits his target for an 18 yard gain. The Roadrunners’ inability to set the edge let the field general roam free behind the line of scrimmage and wait for routes to develop.

Conversely, on this play the Roadrunners are able to contain Brewer by sending a straight bull rush through the tackles, which doesn’t allow the Bears signal caller to escape the pocket. 

Because Brewer is so comfortable outside the pocket, it will be key for redshirt senior Edgar Cerenord to dominate the interior of the line so that the Blue Devil edge rushers can keep Brewer in the pocket. Duke’s defense has been extremely stable over the last few years, and it seems that they will need to carry the Blue Devils until the new look offense can prove itself.