Behind a stout defense, the Virginia Tech Hokies are rounding back into the sort of form we've come to expect over the last 15 seasons or so. On Saturday, they can match their 2012 win total by beating Duke. The Hokies haven't lost a game to the Blue Devils since joining the ACC.
Duke is putting up some solid numbers offensively this season, but the Blue Devils haven't had to contend with a defense like the Hokies'. No opposing offense has managed more than 21 points against Virginia Tech this season, and while Tech's offense does have a tendency to disappear, Duke is probably going to need more than three touchdowns to pull off a victory.
Rankings and records: The Hokies are 6-1 (3-0) this season, ranked 19th in the Coaches' Poll, 16th in the AP Poll and 14th in the BCS standings. Unranked Duke is 5-2 (1-2). Virginia Tech owns a 13-7 edge in the all-time series.
Vegas: Virginia Tech is a 13.5-point favorite, while the over/under is 47.5.
Weather: A high of 53 is expected in Blacksburg, with a slight chance of rain.
Three names to know
Logan Thomas -- When Thomas is sharp, as he was recently in wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina, Virginia Tech looks every bit like the best team in the Coastal. When he struggles, like he did in the overtime win over Marshall, the Hokies feel like a shakier prospect.
Jamison Crowder -- Crowder doesn't get a lot of attention because he plays for Duke, but the junior is leading the ACC with 731 yards receiving this year, and he finished last season with 1,074 receiving yards. The Blue Devils will turn to him plenty, as his average of eight catches per game suggests.
Anthony Boone -- Duke's signal-caller has been effective when he hasn't been sidelined by injury, and most recently led the team to a road win over Virginia by throwing for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Two things at stake
We've gotten some clarity in the Coastal Division, and now it looks like a two-team race between the Hokies and Miami. Both are undefeated in league play, so Virginia Tech needs to beat Duke in order to stay at the top of the standings. Even with a loss, the Hokies could still regain control of their own destiny by beating the Hurricanes when they meet later this season.
Duke is just one win away from bowl eligibility and a little bit of history. If the Blue Devils get to six wins this year, they will be headed to a bowl game for the second consecutive year. That's never happened before.
How to witness
TV: ESPNU, 3:30 p.m. ET
Head over to Virginia Tech blog Gobbler Country for more coverage of the game. Also check out Duke Basketball Report, which also covers football! They're looking for a marquee win for the Blue Devils.