Duke has made a nice rise across the first five weeks of the season.
Georgia Tech’s stock has taken a sudden climb.
The teams picked to comprise the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division have a chance to make another early statement when they meet Saturday in Atlanta.
“With these wins come more opportunities, so we’re looking forward to it,” Duke coach Mike Elko said.
Duke (4-1, 1-0 ACC) has already eclipsed its 2021 win total.
Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-1) in its first game under interim coach Brent Key, upset then-No. 24 Pittsburgh 26-21 on Saturday night.
“We knew these guys had it in them all along,” Key said. “We had to get everybody on the same page.”
The homecoming game against Duke will bring another type of challenge for the Yellow Jackets, who last weekend were dealing with the emotions of the firing of coach Geoff Collins and the new leadership with Key.
It will be critical, Key said, to build on the confidence and energy that was displayed at Pittsburgh.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do now,” Key said, pointing to the need to sustain drives offensively. “Stop waiting around and waiting for things to happen, they need to make things happen.”
Until Saturday, Duke had a 13-game ACC losing skid. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech snapped a nine-game losing streak against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents, dating to a 31-27 win at Duke on Oct. 9, 2021.
Duke has benefitted this year from a healthy turnover margin, collecting 10 takeaways while only losing the ball twice.
“We emphasize it, we preach it and we live it every day.,” Elko said. “It’s not something we just talk about. I think the kids understand how important that is for our success.”
The Blue Devils hope to crank up the rushing attack again, behind redshirt junior running back Jaylen Coleman, who is coming off a career-high 97-yard effort in the Virginia game.
This will be Duke’s second game in a row against a team with a first-year coach.