Notre Dame-Duke Countdown: 10 To 1
10 Notre Dame is tied for 10th nationally in turnover margin (plus-0.88) despite not winning that category in any of the last three games and generating only two in that span. Duke is 113th among 130 teams in turnover margin (minus-0.63) — and only four teams have more than the Blue Devils’ 19. Seventeen of those 19 turnovers occurred in their four losses.
The most devastating turnover this season for the Blue Devils was their most recent in the 20-17 defeat at North Carolina Oct. 26. Duke had a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line with 18 seconds left, but a halfback jump pass by junior Deon Jackson was intercepted to seal the Tar Heels’ victory. It was the third turnover in the game by Duke.
A week earlier in a 48-14 meltdown at Virginia, the Blue Devils had five turnovers.
9 Completions allowed by the Notre Dame defense in 28 attempts last week versus Virginia Tech while isolating cornerbacks Troy Pride Jr. and Donte Vaughn in coverage, with third corner Shaun Crawford in a sub-package role.
Duke also is one of the least efficient passing teams, ranking 99th in the country — with its top two receivers averaging less than eight yards per catch — despite allowing only 12 sacks (tied for 30th with Notre Dame).
8 Catches for 118 yards by Notre Dame senior wideout Chase Claypool in the comeback victory versus the Hokies last week. Per NCAA stats, his nine first-down receptions this year in what it defines as close- and late-game situations (within two scores with more than five minutes left and within one score with less than five minutes remaining) ranks second among Football Bowl Subdivision players. That brings us to…
7 Passes completed this year by Fighting Irish senior quarterback Ian Book for 20 or more yards in what the NCAA defines as close- and late-game situations. That is the highest number among Power 5 Conference (65 teams) quarterbacks.
None was more crucial than his 26-yard completion to Claypool on fourth-and-10 during the winning drive versus the Hokies.
6 This will be the sixth meeting between the Fighting Irish and Blue Devils, with Notre Dame holding a 3-2 edge but losing the last encounter, 38-35, at home in 2016 — a year when both teams finished 4-8. The previous meeting was in 2007, when both were 1-9, with the Irish prevailing 28-7.
This will be only the second trip for Notre Dame to Durham, with the previous a 37-13 loss to end the 1961 campaign at 5-5.
5 Possessions out of 27 in the last two games where Notre Dame has scored, resulting in a 45-14 loss at Michigan and the 21-20 victory last weekend versus Virginia Tech. Those 27 possessions on offense also included 16 punts (15 three-and-out series), four turnovers, loss of downs and a missed field goal.
It will now face a Duke defense that ranks 17th nationally in defensive efficiency, which brings us to…
4 Players on the Duke defense who have totaled at least 16 tackles for loss in their careers — the lone school in the 14-team ACC to have such representation.Junior end Victor Dimukeje (24.0), senior end Tre Hornbuckle (20.0), redshirt sophomore end Chris Rumph II (16.5) and senior linebacker Koby Quansah (16.0) comprise the quartet.
3 Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium is the third smallest among the 65 Power 5 Conference teams with a listed capacity of 40,004. The only ones with less are Wake Forest (31,500) and Washington State (32,248).
2 Teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision — Notre Dame and Alabama — who have not lost to an unranked team since the start of the 2017 season. The Irish will attempt to make it 21 straight versus 4-4 Duke.
1 In last week’s one-point win versus Virginia Tech (21-20), Book became the first Notre Dame quarterback to win a game in which the Irish threw more than 50 passes (53). Notre Dame previously had been 0-10 in such games.