Miami-Duke Preview CapsuleBy The Associated Press , Associated Press
Nov. 14, 2013 1:24 PM ET
No. 24 Miami (7-2, 3-2) at Duke (7-2, 3-2), 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Line: Miami by 3.
Series: Miami leads 9-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The winner of this surprisingly significant matchup will be in the thick of the ACC's muddled Coastal Division race. The teams are trending in opposite directions: Since starting 7-0, the Hurricanes have lost two straight and that slide coincides with the loss of RB Duke Johnson. The Blue Devils — the preseason pick to finish last in the division — have won five in a row and are riding their longest winning streak since their last winning season in 1994.
Duke's run defense vs. Miami RB Dallas Crawford. The defense has been the Blue Devils' quiet backbone all season. The only teams to gain more than 174 yards rushing on them (Georgia Tech, Navy) run the option, and the only fourth-quarter touchdown they've allowed since Sept. 21 came on an 80-yard heave. If Crawford — the replacement for Johnson who had a season-high 137 yards and two touchdowns at North Carolina four weeks ago — can't find a way to loosen up that defense, the Hurricanes could be in trouble.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miami: QB Stephen Morris, who threw for three touchdowns in last year's wild 52-45 win, had completions of 84 and 81 yards in a loss to Virginia Tech last week.
Duke: S DeVon Edwards came out of nowhere against North Carolina State to score three touchdowns, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a score before returning interceptions for game-changing TDs on consecutive plays.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Duke hasn't beaten Miami since 1976 and Hurricanes have never lost in Durham, N.C. ... In five of their nine wins in the series, the Hurricanes have scored at least 40 points. ... Anthony Boone is 7-0 as Duke's starting QB — the first Blue Devil since 1950 to do that. ... Duke, which knocked off Virginia Tech three weeks ago, hasn't beaten two Top 25 teams in the same season since 1971.