College Football Preview: Virginia Tech at Duke
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011
DURHAM ó Virginia Tech doesn’t lose road games ó especially in North Carolina. Duke doesn’t beat nationally ranked teams.
It’ll take one of the biggest upsets of the year for those trends to change.
The 15th-ranked Hokies (7-1, 3-1) can set an ACC record today with their 11th straight road victory when they visit a Duke team that hasn’t defeated a Top 25 opponent in nearly two decades.
The Blue Devils (3-4, 1-2) haven’t even finished within one possession of a ranked team since Virginia Tech beat them by eight points two years ago in their last visit. The current group of Hokies has won three straight overall, has scored at least 30 points in all of those victories and certainly is playing like the favorite to win another Coastal Division title.
“This team, Virginia Tech, has hit stride,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said, “and in all areas, it’s pretty amazing to watch them.”
Except, of course, when you’re trying to beat them.
A victory at Wallace Wade Stadium would break the mark Florida State set in 2000 and Virginia Tech matched in 2006. The Hokies are 22-5 on the road since joining the ACC in 2004, and have won all 13 games they’ve played against ACC teams in the state of North Carolina.
They’ll have to go for that record short-handed after leading tackler Bruce Taylor suffered a season-ending right foot sprain last week against Boston College. He’s the fourth defensive player lost for the season.
“There’s a lot of guys on our football team that would be tough losses if you look at both sides of the ball, but there’s no question that Bruce has not only a lot of leadership but his play, the number of tackles and sacks, and all those things,” coach Frank Beamer said.