Notre Dame's offense came through when it had to last week with a long drive in the final minutes and the 15th-ranked Fighting Irish hope to carry over the emotion from the late-game heroics when they visit Duke on Saturday night. Notre Dame was held off the scoreboard since early in the second quarter, but went 87 yards in 18 plays before quarterback Ian Book scampered seven yards for the winning score with 29 seconds left to beat Virginia Tech 21-20.
The Irish had 442 yards of offense against the Hokies, but turned the ball over three times and could not get it going until the final two drives - the first of which ended with a missed field goal - and coach Brian Kelly knows they will have to be better on the road this week. "We're going to have to be on, offensively," Kelly said at his weekly press conference. "We have not executed at the highest levels. We're going to have to execute better. The turnovers have to go away. We'll have to build off the last two drives against Virginia Tech." Duke has had a week off to heal the wounds of a heartbreaking 20-17 loss at North Carolina on Oct. 26 that ended with an interception by the Tar Heels in the end zone after a trick play failed. "We learned one thing: we've got a team that had a lot of fight to them," Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe told reporters of his team, which erased an 11-point deficit and went ahead in the third quarter. "Nobody backed down. ... You hate to see a game end like that for players that fought their heart out."
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network. LINE: Notre Dame -8
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (6-2): Book has thrown just four interceptions against 17 touchdown passes, but his completion percentage (58.2) leaves something to be desired and he has not turned yardage into enough touchdowns in the biggest games. Junior running back Tony Jones Jr., who leads the team with 571 yards on the ground to go along with four TDs, has been hampered by an injury to his ribs but is probable for Saturday. Senior Chase Claypool continues to lead the way for the receiving corps, hauling in eight passes for 118 yards last week to push his season totals to 37 and 554, respectively, with four TDs.
ABOUT DUKE (4-4): Senior Quentin Harris threw for 229 yards with a touchdown (his 13th of the season) and an interception (seventh) in the loss at North Carolina, but did not get to make the final pass as junior running back Deon Jackson's ill-advised toss was picked off. Jackson contributed 91 yards on the ground to push his team-leading total to 487 on the season while junior Scott Bracey hauled in five passes for a team-high 62 yards with a touchdown against the Tar Heels. Freshman linebacker Shaka Heyward stepped up with a season-high 15 tackles last time out and senior linebacker Koby Quansah tops the team with 72.
1. Duke's junior K A.J. Reed is 9-for-9 on field goals this season and has converted all 27 of his extra points.
2. Notre Dame's freshman DB Kyle Hamilton picked off his team-leading third pass against Virginia Tech.
3. The Blue Devils took the last meeting in 2016 at South Bend, Ind. 38-35, but the Irish won the previous matchup 28-7 at home in 2007.
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