Prior to each Duke football game, beat writers Evan Kolin, Shane Smith, Jake Piazza, Max Rego and Cam Polo will make their predictions for the contest, and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ home-opener against Boston College Saturday, which pits Duke as a 5.5-point favorite.
Evan Kolin: Duke 31-14
I'm expecting dominating performances on both sides of the ball from the Blue Devils this Saturday, including multiple Chase Brice touchdowns through the air and constant pressure from Duke's elite pass rush. The Eagles' formidable rushing attack, led by standout junior David Bailey, will break though for a couple scores of their own, but I see the Blue Devils covering the spread easily.
Shane Smith: Duke 27-13
The Eagles are going to try to live on their ground game throughout the day, though playing in their first contest against a more polished Blue Devil offense will likely spell trouble. Duke should put some points on the board early and force Boston College to throw the ball with a questionable quarterback tandem, exactly what the Blue Devils' talented pass rush and secondary want en route to a comfortable win.
Jake Piazza: Boston College 24-20
I know Duke is favored in this one, but I just don’t like the way the Blue Devils match up with Boson College. Notre Dame slashed Duke on the ground all day last week, and the Eagles have a much more lethal run game. Look for the Blue Devil defense to be overwhelmed by Boston College's experienced offensive line and the fresh legs of running back David Bailey.
Max Rego: Duke 31-17
Replacing A.J. Dillon is going to be a tall task for the Eagles, and despite the promise shown by David Bailey, it’s hard to envision Boston College replicating last year’s impressive mark of 254 rushing yards per game. Chase Brice should be able to attack a weak Eagles secondary, and Boston College's Jeff Hafley is still an unknown as a head coach.
Cam Polo: Duke 27-17
The Blue Devils come back from South Bend, Ind., with a chip on their shoulder, knowing they can compete with the blue bloods and wanting to avoid an 0-2 start at all costs. Chase Brice has a start under his belt, and is only going to get better from here— he’ll find Noah Gray in the end zone at least once, and the defense will lock it up on the other side of the ball, helping Duke cover the spread and even to 1-1 to start the fall.
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Evan Kolin: 1-0
Jake Piazza: 1-0
Max Rego: 1-0
Cam Polo: 1-0