You can follow Mike Kline on Twitter at @MikeKlineDSB and read his blog at DukeFootballBlog.com.
What are your thoughts on your team so far?
So far I’ve been pretty pleased with Duke’s season, though that loss to Northwestern seems less and less impressive as the Wildcats have fallen off the last few weeks. This is the best defense I’ve seen in Durham probably ever. The defense is fast and aggressive and much better than advertised. The offense is, however, not and have struggled against Power 5 conference teams. Quarterback Thomas Sirk has struggled with accuracy on the deep ball and decision making and the running game has been sporadic. There are weapons there just not consistent.
What are your expectations going into the Virginia Tech game?
I expect a close if not ugly game that could come down to a possession or two either way. In short similar to last years game. It will be a battle.
Do you still see Lane Stadium as a “tough place to play”?
Lane Stadium is one of the best venues in the ACC. I’ve been there and the atmosphere and tradition is second to none in the conference. It is still a big time advantage for the Hokies against most team.
At this point, how do you see the Coastal division shaking out? Which team do you think will end up winning the division?
Right now as much as I’d like to pick Duke I think the Blue Devils lose a game or two along the way and I think this game could be one of them. I feel like, as much as I hate to say it, that North Carolina and Pitt have been the class of the Coastal to date. That could change in a weeks time, as per the usual in the Coastal. I think the division comes down to those three Duke, Pitt, and Carolina. Whoever has the strongest finish wins.
What is your prediction for the game?
Like I said earlier, I expect a very close game, probably low scoring. I think if Duke can muster enough offense they will win the game with their solid defense, if Virginia Tech can keep the Duke offense in check and get some opportunistic play on offense or special teams they could squeak out with the victory. If I have to make a prediction I’ll go homer and say Duke wins 17-10, but wouldn’t be shocked if the score were the other way around. This game feels like a push to me.