TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the 2017 season nearing its midway point, the Seminoles are headed back to North Carolina, where they’ll play a rare game at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium. Here are the names, numbers and notes you need to know before Florida State takes on the Blue Devils.
Florida State (1-3, 1-2 ACC) at Duke (4-2, 1-2)
When/Where: Saturday, noon/Wallace Wade Stadium (40,004) in Durham, N.C.
TV/Radio: ESPN2/Seminole IMG Radio Network/SiriusXM Ch. 113/194
Florida State injury report:
WR George Campbell (Hip) – QUESTIONABLE
OL Ethan Frith (Hand) – OUT
WR Keith Gavin (Leg) – OUT
S Trey Marshall (Concussion) – OUT
LB Jacob Pugh (Concussion) – OUT
DT Darvin Taylor (Shoulder) – OUT
Out for Season
OL Landon Dickerson (Ankle)
QB Deondre Francois (Knee)
OL Baveon Johnson (Knee)
OL Jauan Williams (Shoulder)
Duke injury report:
OT Gabe Brandner (Leg)
Out for Season
C Will Taylor (Leg)
Duke Blue Devils
Coach: David Cutcliffe (56-63 in 10 seasons at Duke, 100-92 overall)
Last game: Duke led Virginia late in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils couldn’t overcome a 33-percent completion rate from QB Daniel Jones in a 28-21 loss to Virginia last week.
Last game vs. Florida State: Jameis Winston threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns as the Seminoles clinched the 2013 ACC championship with a 45-7 win over Duke in Charlotte, N.C.
Duke vs. Florida State all-time: Florida State leads the series 19-0 and is 7-0 in Durham.
1992: No. 4 FLORIDA STATE 48, Duke 21
1993: No. 1 Florida State 45, DUKE 7
1994: No. 9 FLORIDA STATE 59, No. 16 Duke 20
1995: No. 1 Florida State 70, Duke 26 (in Orlando, Fla.)
1996: No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 44, Duke 7
1997: No. 4 Florida State 51, Duke 27
1998: No. 11 FLORIDA STATE 62, Duke 13
1999: No. 1 Florida State 51, Duke 23 (in Jacksonville, Fla.)
2000: No. 6 FLORIDA STATE 63, Duke 14
2001: No. 6 Florida State 55, DUKE 13
2002: No. 5 FLORIDA STATE 48, Duke 17
2003: No. 6 Florida State 56, DUKE 7
2004: No. 13 FLORIDA STATE 29, Duke 7
2005: No. 11 Florida State 55, DUKE 24
2006: Florida State 51, DUKE 24
2007: FLORIDA STATE 25, Duke 6
2011: Florida State 41, DUKE 16
2012: No. 11 FLORIDA STATE 48, Duke 7
2013: No. 1 Florida State 45, No. 20 Duke 7 (ACC Championship in Charlotte, N.C.)
2017: Florida State at Duke, Saturday, noon
Duke: Quarterback Daniel Jones came into the season with a healthy amount of buzz surrounding both his ability and his status as the latest protégé of QB guru David Cutcliffe. But the Blue Devils need more from the redshirt sophomore. During Duke’s four-game winning streak, Jones completed 62.6 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and two interceptions. In the two games that followed, both losses, Jones was 35 of 83 (42 percent) with three INTs and no touchdowns. His completion percentage has dropped in every game this season.
Linebacker Joe Giles-Harris may be one of the most under-the-radar defensive stars in college football. The 6-2, 230-pound redshirt sophomore ranks 10th nationally with 58 tackles, and his 10 tackles for loss are good for eighth. Not bad for a player who finished 15th in preseason All-ACC voting at his position.
Florida State: With Dickerson out, Fisher said the Seminoles will turn to redshirt freshman Josh Ball to fill in up front. Ball will play left tackle while Derrick Kelly slides to Dickerson’s spot at left guard. While Ball is young, he does have extensive practice experience. He worked mostly with the first team line during the spring and entered fall camp as one of the favorites at left tackle before giving way to the more experienced Kelly.
Duke’s passing offense has been in a steady decline for the last month, and the Seminoles can help hasten that slide with a strong effort from its pass rush. With that in mind, FSU could use a big effort from sophomore end Brian Burns, both on Saturday and moving forward. After posting 9.5 sacks a year ago, Burns has yet to record his first sack this season.
Total offense: FSU: 327. YPG (113th nationally); DU: 414.0 YPG (61st)
Scoring offense: FSU: 18.5 PPG (119th); DU: 31.5 PPG (57th)
Passing offense: FSU: 203.0 YPG (85th); DU: 210.3 YPG ( 82nd)
Rushing offense: FSU: 124.0 YPG (105th); DU: 203.7 (34th)
Total defense: FSU: 334.5 YPG (29th); DU: 294.2 YPG (16th)
Scoring defense: FSU: 23.5 PPG (47th); DU: 20.0 PPG (32nd)
Passing defense: FSU: 219.0 YPG (55th); DU: 206.2 YPG (44th)
Rushing defense: FSU: 115.5 YPG (27th); DU: 88.0 YPG (7th)
“They have a lot of character. They’re playing their tails off, practicing their tails off. … It’s what I expected to see. That’s how they are and that’s the way they played last week. and I expect them to do it again this week.” – Jimbo Fisher on the team’s preparation for Duke
“There’s a lot of people probably in the same boat that Duke is, in that they haven’t beaten (Florida State). That’s just a fact. Or even fortunate to beat them once or twice. It’s a great football traditional program. So that factors in. It’s a good way to measure yourself and test yourself and challenge yourself.” – Duke coach David Cutcliffe on the Blue Devils’ winless record against Florida State
“College football, the parity has grown across the board. For the most part, that’s kind of the way it goes. You saw (last) week – there’s has been upsets all over the place. I think there’s a lot more parity out there than we realize.” – Fisher on the modern college football landscape
“You can want something too much. You can try too hard. You can put too much pressure on yourself that you can’t do something. You just have to get them to relax, trust themselves, trust their coaching, trust their own eyes, and trust their game and just react.” – Fisher on the tendency to “push” too hard to turn things around
In 1995, the Seminoles visited Duke in their season opener, where junior running back Warrick Dunn racked up 124 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. Check out that classic, 90s-era white-on-garnet uniform combo, too:
The days when Duke could be penciled in as an easy victory are gone. David Cutcliffe has done great work with the program, and opponents who don’t give the Blue Devils their due respect can often find themselves in uncomfortable situations when playing them.
That said, while Duke has gotten off to a solid start this season, the Blue Devils seem to be trending in the wrong direction after two offensively-challenged losses. And while Florida State has endured a difficult stretch of its own, the Seminoles should still enjoy advantages at nearly every position on the field.
It may not be pretty – the Seminoles are still missing four starters due to injuries (five, including Francois) – but it doesn’t need to be. If the offense takes care of the ball, FSU should be able to get out of Durham with a win and then turn its focus to next week’s date with Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals.