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Duke Players to Watch

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Who are the impact players for the Blue Devils?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Duke James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s go ahead and completely forget about what happened last week by getting ready for the game this week. The Deacs return home this Saturday to take on the Duke Blue Devils, who would probably also like to completely forget about what happened last week. The Blue Devils were blown out at home by a Syracuse team that was winless in the conference by a score of 6-49 in route to their 4th straight loss. With 4 wins so far this season, the Blue Devils absolutely must beat the Deacs for a chance to get bowl eligible, so you know that they will be leaving it all out on the field this Saturday. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of players who could help Duke get their first win in over a month.

Offense: Quentin Harris | RS Sr. QB | #18

From what I have seen this season, QB Quentin Harris basically is the Blue Devil offense. Through Duke’s 10 games this season, he has completed 185 of his 310 passing attempts (60%) for 1,759 yards, 14 touchdown and 10 interceptions. On the ground, he has run the ball 123 times for 422 yards and a team high 6 rushing touchdowns. As Harris goes, so goes the Duke offense—when he has played well this season, Duke has looked really good (looking at you VT), but when he plays poorly, Duke can barely move the ball. In Duke’s 4 wins this season, Harris has completed 73% of his passes for 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, while adding almost 6 yards per carry on the ground. In the 6 losses, he has completed just 52% of his passes for 4 touchdowns and all 10 of his interceptions, while running for just 1.4 yards per carry. That obviously mean that the key to beating Duke on Saturday is getting at least 1 interception. OK, maybe not, but it wouldn’t hurt, right? The Blue Devil offense has only managed to put up 264 yards per game and 11 points per game over their last 4 games, so if the Deacs can keep that trend going, they should be in really good shape to win this one.

Defense: Koby Quansah | Sr. LB | #49

With the Deacs missing their 2 biggest threats in the passing game in Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington, I don’t doubt that they are going to try to run the ball as much as possible for the remainder of the season. Standing in opposition of the Wake running attack this Saturday will be Koby Quansah, who leads the Blue Devils in tackles with 88 total tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. He has hit the double digit tackle mark 5 times this season and his 8.8 tackles per game are 32nd best in the nation. In his 2 previous games against Wake Forest, Quansah has accounted for 20 total tackles and a forced fumble, so he definitely likes to play the Deacs. Staying on schedule and running the ball effectively will be crucial for the Wake Forest offense for the rest of the season, so keeping Quansah out of the backfield would really help the Deacs sustain drives.