Every football game, our beat writers Cam Polo, Jake Piazza, Max Rego, Alex Jackson, Micah Hurewitz and Jonathan Levitan will be here to give you their picks for Duke's upcoming matchup, and we'll keep track of their prediction records every week. Duke hosts Kansas Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium for a 4 p.m. kickoff where the Blue Devils enter as 16-point favorites.
Jake Piazza: Duke 45-13
I have been thoroughly impressed by Duke's on-field product these past two weeks, especially from the defense against Northwestern. Safety Lummie Young IV stepped up as a guy who the Blue Devils can look to for big plays and although the Blue Devil offense is still the strength of this team, I think this Duke defense is going to win the turnover battle again and take a commanding win into ACC play.
Max Rego: Duke 41-17
Anecdotally, the Jayhawks have been a laughingstock for the better part of the last decade, and first-year head coach Lance Leipold will need multiple recruiting cycles and offseasons to steer this ship back in the right direction. Plus, these two teams are currently headed in opposite directions, with Kansas on a two-game losing streak while Duke has put together an improved stretch of two consecutive wins. The Jayhawks give up 5.4 yards per carry and struggle to tackle in space, so look for senior running back Mataeo Durant to bounce off tackles all day and get into the second level. If the Blue Devils can just make Jayhawk dual-threat signal caller Jason Bean moderately uncomfortable, then this one figures to be an early call.
Alex Jackson: Duke 38-20
I really want to have complete upright faith in the Blue Devils but they haven’t fully earned my confidence just yet. I do believe they’ll take this game handily but I don’t think it will happen in as big of a blowout as many expect. Kansas has the potential to put up decent points despite their most recent performance—they scored 22 on No. 17 Coastal Carolina in its second game. Additionally, Duke has struggled against the run and especially against mobile quarterbacks. Bean is an elite athlete on the ground and I foresee the Blue Devils having an issue containing him. At the end of the day though, it’s Duke’s offense that’ll be having a field day.
Jonathan Levitan: Duke 34-7
In last week’s matchup against Northwestern, I picked against my gut. I won’t make the same mistake this time: Duke shuts down Bean, thrashes the Jayhawks’ suspect rush defense and cruises to its first three-game win streak in two years. Duke in a landslide.
Micah Hurewitz: Duke 34-7
There is growing space for optimism as Duke welcomes a bottom-feeder Kansas team as it tries to head into conference play with a 3-1 record. Facing the Jayhawks defense should make for a pleasant afternoon for Durant, Holmberg and senior wide receiver Jake Bobo—each of whom is coming off tremendous outings against Northwestern. The offense will explode early while Kansas fails to do much damage to Duke’s lackluster defense. It’s a cake walk for the Blue Devils.
Cam Polo: Duke 35-10
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Duke is coming off a big win to make it two in a row against Northwestern, and they wont slow down against Kansas. The Jayhawks are in dire straits—their starting running back entered the transfer portal this week, and they haven’t exactly put up numbers on either side of the ball all year. Expect Holmberg and the Duke offense to run all over a struggling Kansas squad to move to 3-1 on the year.
Max Rego is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume.
Jake Piazza is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.