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Beats' picks: Can Duke football pick up a conference win in its last game of the season against Miami?

Running back Mataeo Durant is 63 yards shy of tying the Duke single-season rushing yards record.
Running back Mataeo Durant is 63 yards shy of tying the Duke single-season rushing yards record.

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. This is Duke's last game of the 2021 season, and it enters this one against Miami as 21-point underdogs.

Jake Piazza: Miami 45-10

I don't see this one being much different than the past few Duke games, especially with Miami's record underselling how good this Hurricane football team is considering it has three ACC losses by a one-score margin. Miami has quality wins against N.C. State and Pittsburgh, and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has stepped up in D'Eriq King's absence, so ultimately I don't think the three-quarterback attack of Gunnar Holmberg, Riley Leonard and Jordan Moore will be enough. Do look for running back Mataeo Durant to break the single-season Duke rushing record Saturday, as he is just 63 yards shy of tying. 

Max Rego: Miami 45-24

With the Hurricane passing attack picking up steam in recent weeks, I’m expecting another lopsided defeat for the Blue Devils. No matter the situation, Duke simply cannot get key defensive stops and keep itself in ballgames. While Mataeo Durant has a great shot at capturing the single season program rushing record, that won’t be enough to avoid an eighth straight loss. 

Alex Jackson: Miami 42-20

After last week’s prime-time debacle, Blue Devil spirits are hitting an all time low and Miami is pinning for a last-minute win. Duke’s leaders remained vigilant following the Louisville blow out that the team was as much together and behind their coach as they were to start the season, but it’s hard to believe they’ll be able to put up the same fight they did against a team like Northwestern. With no motivation outside Durant’s looming record break, I see the Blue Devils struggling to put up points yet again. Twenty is a fairly high number considering the past few ACC outings for Duke, but Miami doesn’t have a stonewall defense like some of those previous opponents. This final loss will cap off a season of disappointment in a stretch of disappointing seasons for Duke.

Micah Hurewitz: Miami 42-20

A win to save an otherwise winless conference season for the Blue Devils would be great, but it just doesn’t seem possible given Duke’s ability to get blown out week after week, even when there seems to be a sliver of hope. Miami had high hopes for the year and underperformed, but the Hurricanes are still a bowl-qualifying team that will look to earn a spot in a higher-tier game with a win in Durham. I want to see the Blue Devils play their hearts out, but this season may end with a dud.

Jonathan Levitan: Miami 51-22

The writing is, and has been, on the wall. In Duke’s eighth and final ACC outing, there’s little reason to believe things will be much different than in the other seven. Perhaps there’s a compelling argument that the Blue Devils finish off a disappointing campaign with an inspiring win, but if last year’s finale—a 56-35 drubbing at Florida State—is any indication, Saturday should see Duke wrap things up in fitting fashion.Durant’s last gasp for the single-season rushing record should give the offense a bit of a jolt, though.

Cam Polo: Miami 39-17

I hate to keep being a pessimist here, I really do. But head coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils haven’t given us much to hope for. As usual, Mataeo Durant is going to need a monster game to keep this close, but expect the bleachers to start clearing out early this week.

Piazza: 8-3

Rego: 7-4

Jackson: 7-4

Levitan: 7-4

Hurewitz: 8-3

Polo: 7-4

Max Rego profile
Max Rego

Max Rego is a Trinity senior and an associate sports editor for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously sports managing editor for Volume 117.

Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity senior and was sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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