In their second of eight straight Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games, Miami is looking to improve to a winning record with a win against Duke this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami (3-3, 1-1 ACC) enters this game as the favorite to win, as they have won its last two games against Duke (4-3, 1-2 ACC).
UM’s Tyler Van Dyke and Duke’s Riley Leonard will make for an exciting quarterback matchup. Van Dyke is coming off a 350-yard and two-touchdown game last week against Virginia Tech, while Leonard had an impressive game of his own in a close loss against North Carolina.
“I really feel that strongly about him,” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said to reporters about Leonard. “He can make the tight window throws, he can take off with the football when it’s not there. He can extend plays. He’s very smart, doesn’t make mistakes.”
Hurricanes linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. and safeties James Williams and Karmen Kinchens have been three standout players on UM’s defense and will need to continue their level of play this Saturday.
The duo of Leonard and wide receiver Jalon Calhoun will be a challenging task for Miami to defend. Calhoun leads the team in receiving yards and Leonard’s favorite target.
“They play together, a very smart group of guys. You can tell that they’ve gelled very well,” Cristobal said.
Cristobal also praised Duke running back Jordan Waters for his ability to make big plays and be a threat to the defense.
The Blue Devils’ record does not showcase how much talent they have. All three of their losses have been within one score.
“They’ve done a great job. Their coaching staff from a personnel standpoint, they’ve gotten some players over the last couple years that really stand out as football players,” Cristobal said.
Duke is coming off a very close 38-35 defeat to North Carolina last week, which is the same point differential that the Hurricanes lost to the Tar Heels by in Week 5.
This game means a lot for both teams, and the ramifications as a result of it could have postseason implications.