No. 18 Duke heads to UConn in tune-up for showdown with Notre Dame
Thu, Sep 21, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
No. 18 Duke (3-0) at Connecticut (0-3), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)
Line: Duke by 21 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: UConn leads 2-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Duke is 3-0 for the second time in as many seasons under Mike Elko and has a matchup with highly ranked Notre Dame looming, so the Blue Devils can't afford a stumble. Connecticut was hoping for continued growth after winning six games last year under Jim Mora, but has started the season 0-3.
Riley Leonard could have a field day against UConn's defense, especially with his feet. The junior quarterback completed 15 of 20 passes for 218 yards and ran for another 97 against Northwestern, leading the team to an average of better than 8 yards a play. UConn's defense, meanwhile is giving up averages of 5 1/2 yards per play and just under 180 yardson the ground.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Duke: RB Jordan Waters. He keeps finding the end zone. He had a late 36-yard score to punctuate the season-opening upset of preseason Atlantic Coast Conference favorite Clemson, then ran for two touchdowns against both Lafayette and Northwestern.
UConn: Sophomore TE Justin Joly. Teams have been putting seven and eight players in the box to stop UConn's running game and it will be important for Joly, who has averaged 11.4 yards on 11 catches this season, to get behind Duke's linebackers to loosen up the defense.
FACTS & FIGURES
Duke come into the game giving up just 9.3 points per game on defense, the fifth best mark in the nation, while UConn's offense is aallowing just 15 points a game, which is ranked 124th. ... The Huskies took a home-and-home set against the Blue Devils for the lone meetings in the series. The first was a 22-20 home win in 2004, followed by a 45-14 win in Durham three years later. ... Duke quarterback Riley Leonard has thrown for just one touchdown with no interceptions in the first three games, though he has twice flirted with 100-yard rushing days (98 yards and a score against Clemson, 97 yards and two scores against Northwestern). ... Connecticut has already faced one North Carolina-based ACC school this year, falling to North Carolina State 24-14 in the opener. ... The Huskies began last season 1-4 before rallying to finish the season with six wins and qualify for a bowl game.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll"