Miami (6-5, 4-3 ACC) posted an embarrassing 30-24 loss to intracity rival FIU at Marlins Park. The Hurricanes never led during the game and had to score 21 points in the fourth quarter just to make the final margin as close as it was.
Duke's (4-7, 2-5) loss last week wasn't as traumatic, but the Blue Devils fell to their in-state rival, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 39-27. The loss guarantees that the Blue Devils will not play in a bowl game for the first time since 2016.
Saturday will mark the 17th time Miami and Duke have met on the gridiron. The Hurricanes lead the overall series 13-3; however, the Blue Devils won last year's meeting 20-12 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami at Duke
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m.
Spread: Miami -7.5
When Miami Has the Ball
Entering last week's game against FIU, quarterback Jarren Williams was playing his best football in a Hurricanes uniform. He had thrown for 566 yards with eight touchdowns against zero interceptions since returning from injury. But against the Golden Panthers, Williams struggled for three and half quarters.
Williams did throw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had three critical interceptions, including two in the third quarter. The redshirt freshman will look to have a much better performance against the Blue Devils, but Miami will likely be without a key backfield weapon.
Running back DeeJay Dallas sustained an arm injury in the loss to FIU. Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz announced on Monday that Dallas' arm injury would not require surgery, but he will be out indefinitely.
The Blue Devils rank 88th in the FBS in rushing defense, allowing an average of 188.1 yards per game on the ground. In Dallas' absence, sophomore Cam'Ron Harris will have a more significant role. On the season, Harris has rushed for 501 yards and four touchdowns.
When Duke Has the Ball
Duke's offensive futility was a major story in the loss to Wake Forest. Yes, the Blue Devils scored 27 points in the game, but two of their three touchdowns came from Damond Philyaw-Johnson kickoff returns.
The Blue Devils' longest offensive drive lasted just 4:31, with their next longest drive of the game coming in at 2:14. Also, in the first half, Duke had just one drive on offense that lasted more than five plays. Things aren't expected to get better against a Miami defense that is among the nation's best.
Despite the loss against the Golden Panthers, the Hurricanes are ranked 15th in total defense, giving up an average of 309.5 yards per game. Expect Miami to put a lot of pressure on Devils quarterback Quentin Harris, whose play has been up and down this season.
The 2019 season has been the definition of inconsistent for Miami. The Hurricanes played well in their loss to Florida and defeated Virginia and Louisville, but they had blunders against Georgia Tech and FIU. This week, in the final game before bowl season, we will likely see a highly motivated Hurricanes team.
Miami defensive lineman Greg Rousseau, who wasn't a big factor against the Golden Panthers, should get back on track with a big game. Duke's offensive line is giving up an average of two sacks per game, but that number could certainly go up on Saturday.
Although the Hurricanes have had their moments of playing down to their opponents, they're clearly the more talented team in this one.
Prediction: Miami 24, Duke 20
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.