Duke football hosts North Carolina A&T this Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium as it hopes to remain unbeaten. The Blue Zone gives you all the film analysis you need prior to the Blue Devils’ 6 p.m. date with the Aggies:
After holding off Northwestern’s comeback last Saturday in Evanston, Ill., Duke, under head coach Mike Elko, is off to a hot start. Although the victory against Temple was expected, taking the next one against the Wildcats was not. Even ESPN’s College Gameday had five of five analysts pick Northwestern to win. The Blue Devils enter Saturday night’s matchup against North Carolina A&T with all of the momentum and confidence in the world.
For North Carolina A&T, however, it could not be any more different. The Aggies will travel to Wallace Wade Stadium with an 0-2 record, losing to N.C. Central in week one and dropping last weekend’s matchup to North Dakota State 43-3. Picked as the preseason favorite in the relatively weak Big South, North Carolina A&T will look for anything to gain a spark going into conference play.
Although many things went wrong in last week’s matchup against the Bison, one thing to note had to be the Aggies’ inability to move the ball. With a combined 50 passing yards, the North Carolina A&T offensive line struggled to keep the pocket clean for redshirt senior quarterback Jalen Fowler. Watch how the Bison could easily get pressure with just four rushers on a crucial third down.
North Carolina A&T’s offensive line struggles seemingly remain from last season. In Duke’s 2021 home opener, it took advantage of the Aggies’ poor blocking, especially on the third-and-one stop below, en route to a 45-17 victory.
To make matters worse for the Aggies, their rushing defense fell flat against NDSU, allowing a combined 149 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. Duke, on the other hand, rushed for a staggering 221 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern. If the Blue Devils can get the kind of blocking up front as they did in the clip below, redshirt junior running back Jordan Waters is set for another big day.
While no game in NCAA football is a guarantee, Duke, on paper, is far and away the more talented and confident team going into Saturday night’s matchup in Durham. However, talent and confidence are nothing without execution, which is needed for the Blue Devils and the Elko Era to get to 3-0 by the end of week three.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.