Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Duke Looking for Second ACC Win Against Pitt

Duke heads into Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh looking to improve to 5-3. A win would give the Blue Devils a 5-3 record or better through eight games for the fifth time in the last six seasons. It would be the fifth time in 10 campaigns under head coach David Cutcliffe that the Blue Devils reached five wins. In the 13 seasons prior to Cutcliffe taking over the program, the Blue Devils never won five or more games in a year. The program already has its longest streak of consecutive four or more win campaigns (six) since a seven-year stretch from 1985 to 1991.

The Blue Devils and Panthers will meet for the 22nd time Saturday with Pittsburgh holding a 12-9 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have met 11 times in the Bull City, with Pittsburgh owning a 7-4 lead. The Panthers have won the last four trips to Durham with Duke last capturing a home win against Pittsburgh with a 21-13 triumph October 9, 1965. Since Pittsburgh joined the ACC for the 2013 campaign, the Panthers have won three of the four meetings.

Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium

Duke and Pittsburgh met in the first game played in Duke Stadium (now Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium) on October 5, 1929, with the Panthers winning, 52-7. On November 27, 1937, Pittsburgh became the first No. 1 ranked opponent to visit Durham, topping the No. 18 Blue Devils, 10-0. On November 26, 1938, No. 3 Duke downed No. 4 Pittsburgh, 7-0, in Durham to conclude an unbeaten, untied and unscored upon regular season. In 1939, Pitt handed the Blue Devils their lone loss of the year with a 14-13 decision on October 14 in Pittsburgh. Duke went 9-1, won the Southern Conference crown and was ranked eighth in the final Associated Press national poll. On September 29, 1951, Duke and Pittsburgh played in the first nationally televised football game on NBC with the Blue Devils capturing a 19-14 win.

Duke defeated Northwestern and Baylor in September to record two Power 5 non-conference wins for the first time since topping Northwestern and Tennessee in 1988. The Blue Devils have defeated programs from the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC so far this year.

What the Coaches are Saying

Duke coach David Cutcliffe
"This is a game you better strap your chin strap up tight and go play football. I guess we’ll find out Saturday because we don’t have a choice. When you play Pitt, you know what’s coming. Your defensive front and offensive front are going to be challenged. It’s good for us… “I’ll say this about Pitt in the two years [head coach] Pat Narduzzi has been there – they play all three phases about as well as anyone. They’re very well coached. They can beat you in the kicking game. They can beat you on offense. They play outstanding team defense. They are always a challenge. They will challenge all three phases of Duke football."

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi
"We're still young in some spots, but we move on to a very good Duke football team that won the first four, lost the last few to Florida State, Miami, Virginia, I believe, and they're well-coached by Coach Cutcliffe. Defensively they're a good football team. I think 16th in the country in rush defense, 19th in total defense. They're really good there, and they're very solid. Obviously Coach Roper and Coach Cutcliffe together I think run that offense, and Coach Cutcliffe being an offensive guru, we face some of the best coaches I think in the country in the ACC. It's impressive."

Game Information

Pitt (2-5, 0-3 ACC) at Duke (4-3, 1-3 ACC)
Kickoff: 12:20 p.m.
TV: ACC Network

Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium (Durham, N.C.)