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X-Factor: Duke football's Michael Carter II looks to sting the Yellow Jackets

It could be Michael Carter II's chance to make an impact against a team from his home state of Georgia.
It could be Michael Carter II's chance to make an impact against a team from his home state of Georgia.

Coming off a brutal loss to Pittsburgh, the Blue Devils will be anxious to get back in the win column against a lowly Georgia Tech team. The Blue Zone gives you a player to watch from each team when the game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday:

Duke: Safety Michael Carter II

After notching a trio of interceptions in Duke's first scrimmage of training camp, many expected Carter to lead the Blue Devils in that category. After five games, however, the junior has yet to record a pick, despite playing well in the secondary. This week might be the time for change, though, as the Yellow Jackets have now turned full-time to freshman James Graham to lead their new, triple-option-less offense.

Graham struggled last week against North Carolina, completing less than 50 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions, bringing his total to three on the year. With Duke's defense featuring three safeties, look for Carter to take some chances on creating turnovers early in the game to put this one out of reach early.

Georgia Tech: Linebacker David Curry

The Yellow Jackets' defense has been anything but pretty to start the season, and a lot of that can be attributed to their abysmal run defense. In its embarrassing loss to The Citadel—an FCS team—Georgia Tech gave up a whopping 320 rush yards in the game. Their run defense currently ranks fourth-worst in the country, and they'll need their leading tackler Curry to step up and keep Duke's rushes in the box. 

Georgia Tech will also need to keep an eye on Quentin Harris if he tries to take off on third down, as they've had trouble defending quarterbacks who can run. Last week's game against North Carolina saw the Yellow Jackets give up 11 third down conversions, a trend they'll need to stop if they want any chance in a game they come into as 17-point underdogs.

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