Prior to each Duke football game, The Chronicle’s Evan Kolin, Ramona Naseri, Derek Saul, Shane Smith and Dilan Trivedi make their predictions for the contest and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ matchup with Georgia Tech Saturday:
Evan Kolin: Duke 41-17
After a heart-wrenching loss to Pittsburgh, the Blue Devils will be playing this game with a chip on their shoulder, trying to prove to the world that they’re still ACC Coastal contenders. Entering the contest as 17.5-point favorites, Duke’s offense will return to the scheme that was so successful against Virginia Tech, its defense will swallow up the triple-option-less Yellow Jackets and the Blue Devils will cruise to an easy win.
Ramona Naseri: Duke 42-10
Georgia Tech has struggled so far this season, holding an 0-2 record in conference play. The Yellow Jackets are weak against the run, which will give Deon Jackson the opportunity to shine. If Jackson can take advantage of this, i see Duke taking its sixth win against Georgia Tech in the past seven years.
Derek Saul: Duke 28-6
This is going to be an ugly football game. The Blue Devils defense should feast on a Yellow Jacket offense that has struggled to muster any sort of consistent scoring, and Duke should easily win the battle in the trenches against Georgia Tech's weak defensive line.
Shane Smith: Duke 38-13
Last week’s loss left a bitter taste in Duke’s mouth in a game it should have snuck away with. Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, it’ll get a focused Blue Devil squad that needs a win to have a shot at bowl eligibility. After giving up three sacks against Pittsburgh, Duke’s offensive line should rebound against a weak Yellow Jackets’ front seven that ranks No. 107 nationally in team sacks and third-worst in rushing yards allowed per game. Quentin Harris will get right back on track and lead the Blue Devils to a comfortable win.
Dilan Trivedi: Duke 30-13
The Blue Devils will rebound nicely in what should be a straightforward matchup against the Yellow Jackets. Duke showed fight and spirit in the loss to the Panthers last week and the second half was closer to the caliber of play expected out of this team. Georgia Tech is in a rebuilding year and is yet to settle on a quarterback, leading to an anemic offense that was outscored by its defense two weeks ago against Temple. The Blue Devils will regain momentum ahead of two critical road games against Virginia and North Carolina coming up.
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Evan Kolin: 4-1
Ramona Naseri: 5-0
Derek Saul: 4-1
Shane Smith: 3-2
Dilan Trivedi: 4-1