MIAMI GARDENS (AP) — Given the way Duke’s offense has piled up yards and points against Miami over the last two years, it’s easy to see why Hurricanes’ defensive end Anthony Chickillo was a little confused about the status of the rivalry.
“They’ve beaten us, what, the last two years?” Chickillo asked this week.
Might feel that way, but no, the teams have actually split those two meetings.
Duke has scored 93 points against the Hurricanes in those matchups, the second-highest total that Miami has allowed an opponent to score in any two-year span. Another offense-fest may await on Saturday night when the Blue Devils (4-0, 0-0) open defense of their Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title against Miami (2-2, 0-1).
“You can see why when you turn on the film,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “You’ve got a quarterback that makes it go for them. They’re rotating in a bunch of different running backs and they’re deep, big, strong, physical offensive line.”
Only Syracuse, with a combined 99 points in 1997 and 1998, has ever scored more against Miami in a two-year stretch than Duke has since 2012.
“We have to be able to remain balanced against them,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “If we can’t run it, or the flipside of that, if all we can do is run it a little bit and can’t throw and catch it, we’ll be in trouble. I think the biggest key with Miami and the type of athletes they have is for us to be able to have some semblance of balance where they are not as easily able to predict what we’re going to do out of what formation.”
It’s not like Miami hasn’t been able to move the ball against Duke, either: The Hurricanes have scored 82 points in the last two meetings, outgaining the Blue Devils 1,211-1,126 in those matchups. Duke has allowed 777 passing yards in those games, a good sign for true freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya, who is already up to 10 touchdown passes through his first four games for Miami.
Duke is clearly stepping up in schedule class this week. So far, the Blue Devils have faced Elon, Troy, Kansas and Tulane — a relatively easy pre-ACC schedule.
“Obviously, this is our biggest test of the year,” Cutcliffe said.
Here’s some things to watch when Miami hosts Duke on Saturday night:
STRUGGLING DEFENSE: Miami gave up 343 rushing yards last week in the loss to Nebraska, and Duke will try some of the same things that the Cornhuskers did with ease against the Hurricanes. Cutcliffe has worked wonders with Duke’s offense, and QB Anthony Boone (876 yards, seven TDs, one interception this year) is 14-0 all-time as a regular-season starter. Plus, the Blue Devils have a five-headed monster in the backfield — five Duke players have gotten at least 20 carries so far, none of them getting more than 33. It means Miami will have to be ready for anyone and anything.
DEVILS HISTORY?: Duke has won 12 straight regular-season games, matching the school record set in the early 1940s. Duke’s only losses in its last 14 games were against Florida State in last season’s ACC title game, and against Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Additionally, K Ross Martin has made 82 straight extra-point attempts, two away from Will Snyderwine’s school record of 84.
DUKE VERSUS DUKE: Miami RB Duke Johnson is 68 yards from reaching 4,000 all-purpose yards for his Hurricanes’ career. He would be the third Miami player to reach that milestone, joining Santana Moss (4,394) and Ottis Anderson (4,265). Johnson has rushed for at least 90 yards in his last six games, dating back to last season.
KAAYA’S NUMBERS: Miami QB Brad Kaaya’s yardage total has risen in each of his four starts, from 174, to 177, to 342, to 359. Over the last two weekends, only five quarterbacks at the major-college level threw for more yards than Kaaya’s 701.
THE SERIES: Miami has never lost back-to-back games against Duke. The Blue Devils won the first meeting between the schools in 1976, then Miami won the next nine matchups before falling 48-30 last season.
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