RIVER CITY SHARPS
Duke at Army
The Duke Blue Devils have started off well once again, posting a 4-1 record and 2-0 ACC mark, as they head into Saturday’s non-conference match up with Army at West Point. The Cadets are 1-4 on the season and coming off a 20-14 loss at Penn State. This should be an interesting matchup from the standpoint that you are going to see an elite defense in Duke, which ranks ninth on total defense and fifth in scoring defense, go up against a very one-dimensional offense from Army. The Cadets are 10th in FBS rushing, going for 279 yards per game, but that might be slightly more difficult against a very solid Duke front. The Blue Devils do have some experience against the triple-option offense this year as they defeated Georgia Tech 34-20 several weeks ago.
Duke has won 12 of their last 13 games vs. non-conference opponents and they are a stellar 21-4 SU over their last 25 regular season games. Interesting that going all the way back to 1992, Army is just 2-10 against the number when playing top defensive teams and they are also 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games after playing a conference game. These teams haven’t played on the field since 2010, so there really is no revenge angle to examine, so we are forced to look at the matchup with the numbers we have been given. Here’s the deal…Duke’s defense is elite and Army’s is not.
Now we know that Duke didn’t score a TD last week in their 9-7 win over Boston College, which gives us some hope that Cutcliffe and the Devils’ offensive coaches and can find some better options this week. They will have plenty of opportunity as BC has a very solid defense and Army struggles both vs. the run and the pass. At the end of the day, we just don’t believe Army’s one dimensional offense will be able to score many points on Duke’s defense and we expect the Duke offense to right the ship and put points on the board. Getting Duke under two touchdowns is a gift and we think this game won’t be that close. The Sharps say…
3 Units – Duke (-12)