The Pitt game two weeks ago was the gut check... and the Hoos passed the test (barely).
This Duke game, well. It's not a gut check so much as it is a nut check. As in, what's the size of Virginia Football's meaty clackers?
Coming off the bye week at 4-2 (2-0 ACC) and with a real watershed victory in our sights, how will the Hoos play in Durham?
Yeah, I know, it's Duke. It's hard to wrap one's mind around the fact that Duke Football is anything more than a guaranteed dubya on Virginia's schedule. But, y'know, a funny thing happened during the last six years. WE HAVE LOST FIVE OF OUR LAST SIX GAMES AGAINST THE DUKE BLUE DEVILS. They pretty much own us. Uggghhhhhh, they pretty much own us.
1995 thru 2007 -- Virginia: 12 wins, Duke: 1 win (24-17 in 1999, in overtime).
2008 thru 2013 -- Duke: 5 wins, Virginia: 1 win (31-21 in 2011).
2008 -- Duke 31, Virginia 3
2009 -- Duke 28, Virginia 17
2010 -- Duke 55, Virginia 48
2011 -- Virginia 31, Duke 21
2012 -- Duke 42, Virginia 17
2013 -- Duke 35, Virginia 22
The all-time series stands at 33-32, in favor of the Hoos.
Furthermore, with Maryland off to rot along with the rust belt in the Big Ten, I'd say Duke has climbed to the #3 spot on our annual rivalries list. Virginia Tech #1, North Carolina #2, Duke #3.
So yeah, this game is a
What a win would mean for the Hoos:
We climb to 5-2 (3-0 ACC), a virtual lock for a bowl game, and riding a wave of momentum down the stretch in what could quickly turn into a truly special season. We'd be bonafide Coastal Division contenders. Mike London's job, for all intents and purposes, would be safe. The already-cooled hotseat would drop another 10 degrees or so. We'd be ranked in the top 25.
What a loss would mean for the Hoos:
4-3 (2-1 ACC) looks and feels a lot different than 5-2, doesn't it? The remaining schedule stacks up in a way that would make 6-6 and a bowl appearance feel like a real challenge. It'd be a slog to the end of the season. Mike London's job would once again be in great jeopardy, and recruiting would be back to being a real uphill struggle. We'd no longer be receiving votes in the AP or USA Today Coaches' Poll. "Same ol' Virginia," they'd say. And they'd be right. But maybe worst of all, once and for all, with no further shadow of a doubt, it would mean that Duke officially owns UVA in football. I need IT help! I just threw up on my keyboard.
So please, for the love of all things good and holy, let's go down to Durham and beat the Blow Devils tomorrow, m'kay?
Nut check time, Hoos.
After a week of betting, the line for the game is: Duke (-2.5), over/under 51. So Vegas and the bettors are predicting a 27-24 Duke win.
I'm not predicting that. My pick is...
Virginia 27, Duke 19
Our defense. That's it, just... our defense.