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X-Factor: Chase Brice needs to win this battle of the QBs against Syracuse

Chase Brice has had an underwhelming season, but it's not too late for him to get back on track.
Chase Brice has had an underwhelming season, but it's not too late for him to get back on track.

It’s a rare occasion that two quarterbacks are the x-factors for their teams, but this week Duke quarterback Chase Brice and Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito were the obvious picks.

Duke:  Quarterback Chase Brice

To put it kindly, Brice has not performed the way he was expected to when he made the decision to come to Duke. In four games, it’s been errant throw after errant throw, with him occasionally sprinkling in a drive reminiscent of his game-winner against Syracuse back when he was at Clemson. 

Brice orchestrated an impressive drive to start the fourth quarter against Virginia Tech, and capped it off with throwing a dart to tight end Noah Gray for the touchdown. He has the ability to thread the needle to perfection, proving it when he hit a streaking Jarett Garner down the sideline, and yet, Brice’s inconsistency has played a large part in Duke’s slow start. 

His glimpses of greatness make it difficult to completely rule the Blue Devils out, but if they want to get this season on the right track on Saturday, they will go as Brice goes. 

Syracuse: Quarterback Tommy DeVito

The Orange’s signal caller has had a year uncannily similar to Brice. DeVito had a solid sophomore season where he made a name for himself as a quarterback who isn’t afraid to take deep shots. Despite last year’s campaign, DeVito had bigger expectations to fill considering his talent and thus far in 2020, he has struggled to meet expectations again.

In Syracuse’s three games, he has failed to throw for 200 yards in each contest and the result has been the Orange getting off to a 1-2 start. DeVito finally connected with his number one receiver Taj Harris last week on a 43-yard bomb but he’s going to need to do more than that if he wants to lead Syracuse to a victory against Duke. 

If we get the Chase Brice from last week’s fourth quarter touchdown drive and the Tommy DeVito from his matchup with Western Michigan last year, this game is going to be a shootout while these two exchange touchdown drives all afternoon. Both quarterbacks are too talented to keep playing as inconsistent as they have. 

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