Duke vs. North Carolina fearless prediction and game preview.
Duke vs. North Carolina Broadcast
Date: Saturday, October 26
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Network: ACC Network X
Duke (4-3) vs. North Carolina (3-4) Game Preview
Why Duke Will Win
The Duke defense has to take over.
North Carolina has a nice group of weapons for the passing game, and Sam Howell continues to be be terrific – throwing for over 320 yards in three of his last four games, and getting better each week – but the O line is having a few issues.
The Tar Heel running game has been good enough to compliment Howell, but it’s not going to take over. There’s been a big problem keeping defenses out of the backfield, though, and Howell is taking several shots.
On the other side, the Blue Devil O line is doing a fantastic job. It’s giving everyone time to work, the running game is good enough to overcome a rough run lately by QB Quentin Harris – he’s a whole lot better than he’s been showing.
The Duke pass rush is good enough, and it’s had its moments at getting behind the line to make big plays on a regular basis. But more than anything else, the Blue Devils are more than fine when they don’t have problems with …
Why North Carolina Will Win
What’s been the issue for Duke lately over the run of two of the last three games?
Alabama is Alabama – Duke wasn’t winning that game no matter what – but the three turnovers didn’t help. How did the Blue Devils blow it against Pitt in the 33-30 loss? Six turnovers.
How did they get blown away by Virginia last week? Five turnovers.
North Carolina has been fantastic when it comes to the turnover margin. It lost to Appalachian State partly because it was a -2 in the stat, but it’s been on the plus side or even against everyone else. The O isn’t making a whole slew of mistake with just one turnover in three games, three against ASU, and nothing against everyone else.
To get back to Harris, the Duke QB was outstanding over the first four weeks, and then it’s all managed to crash a bit. His accuracy has slipped, he only has two touchdown passes and four picks in the last three weeks, and the downfield passing game has gone bye-bye.
The hope has to be for Howell to be the best quarterback on the field.
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What’s Going To Happen
Which Duke team will show up? Will it be the one that rocked Virginia Tech’s world a few weeks ago, or will it keep turning the ball over and keep giving away games?
North Carolina is playing okay, and losing. Duke isn’t playing all that well, and it’s winning when it’s not screwing up.
The Tar Heels have lost three straight in the series, but new coaching staff, new era, and after losing four of the last five games, they’ll finally pull off a close win again – the four losses were by a total of 12 points – on a walk-off Noah Ruggles field goal.
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Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction, Line
North Carolina 33, Duke 31
Bet on Duke vs. UNC with BetMGM, or for latest line
North Carolina -4.5, o/u: 52.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
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Must See Rating: 3.5
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