Duke sits at 4-1 as it travels to Georgia Tech this Saturday looking to bounce back after its first loss of the season. Here are three keys to Saturday’s contest: 

Stop the Yellow Jackets Rushing Attack 

Duke’s task of limiting the potent Georgia Tech rushing offense got a little harder with the announcement that linebacker Koby Quansah would be out after receiving surgery on a broken foot. The junior was critical on defense last season against triple-option teams – registering 20 tackles, including two for a loss. The Yellow Jackets average 373 yards-per-game on the ground – first in the nation – and 6.6 yards-per-attempt. Led by signal caller TaQuon Marshall, who has accumulated 557 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground this season. Georgia Tech has two other players with over 400 rushing yards each which will keep the Blue Devil defense on its toes. The Duke rushing defense has been stout thus far, ranking 29th nationally by only allowing 122.8 yards-per-game. Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys will need to step up and force the Yellow Jackets to resort to the air – where they have just three touchdowns to four interceptions on the season. 

Keep Daniel Jones Upright 

Georgia Tech’s defense is exploitable, ranking 84th in passing yards allowed per game and ceding 11.0 yards-per-catch. However, in order for the aerial attack to succeed, the Duke offensive line will need to do a better job of protecting Daniel Jones. The Blue Devils have allowed seven sacks this season, including three in the loss to Virginia Tech. Jones’ body should feel close to 100 percent with the extra week of rest, and with more time in the pocket, he will be able to pick apart the suspect Yellow Jacket secondary and prove why some NFL mock drafts have him getting picked in the top 10 next year. Georgia Tech boasts a trio of players – Kyle Cerge-Henderson, Anree Saint-Amour and Christian Campbell – who have two sacks apiece, so Duke’s offensive line will need to key in on those defenders. 

Establish the Running Game Early 

The best way to set up a strong passing game is to make the defense respect the run. Jones can thrive off play-action calls if Brittain Brown and Deon Jackson find holes in the Yellow Jacket defense early in the game. Georgia Tech allows 143 yards-per-game on the ground, indicating that there are gaps to be found. Brown and Jackson average a combined 4.9 yards-per-rush and will look to improve on that number against a defense that cedes just 4.3 yards-per-rush. They must also focus on being sure-handed as they have been thus far, as the Yellow Jackets have forced six fumbles in as many contests.