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Mataeo Durant rushed for 255 yards in Duke's loss to Charlotte.

49ER SHINER: Charlotte stuns Duke football in season opener

The Blue Devil faithful saw Duke get taken down 31-28 by Charlotte. It was a game in which even historic play by senior running back Mataeo Durant was not enough to make up for a combination of defensive lapses and offensive failures in key moments. The South Carolina native rushed for 255 yards, a Duke program record, and tallied three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough. 

Senior wide receiver Jake Bobo will have to fill the void left by tight end Noah Gray, especially on third down.

Beats' picks: Will Duke football start the 2021 season with a win against Charlotte?

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. First off, Duke has Charlotte on the road at 7 p.m. Friday, where the Blue Devils are favored by 6.5 points. 

Mataeo Durant will be Duke's feature back all season long after racking up 817 yards and eight rushing touchdowns a season ago.

'It was just time': After breakout season, Duke football's Mataeo Durant prepares for another

Heading into 2020, Durant sat second on the depth chart at running back behind senior captain Deon Jackson. With only 114 career carries to his name and just a single touchdown, he began the season as a bonafide backup, and after an underwhelming start in the season opener against Notre Dame, it seemed as if Durant was destined to lie another season in waiting before his opportunity finally rolled around. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t ready yet.