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5 issues to know earlier than Duke soccer hits the highway for Kansas

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With a spotless 3-0 report, the Blue Devils will journey to Lawrence, Kan., This Saturday, to face off towards one other 3-0 program, the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas, coming off of a formidable 48-30 victory at Houston, are heavy 7.5-point favorites within the matchup. Nevertheless, Duke will go into Saturday using the momentum from its blowout win towards North Carolina A&T. Listed below are 5 issues to search for when the sport kicks off.

Preparedness

Going into Saturday afternoon’s showdown in Lawrence, the Blue Devils are treating the matchup as simply one other sport. Saturday’s extremely anticipated matchup is the final nonconference tuneup earlier than Duke enters ACC play. Nevertheless, the Blue Devils have ready similar to every other sport.

“There are not any large video games, there’s simply the following sport,” Duke head coach Mike Elko stated in media availability Monday. “That mindset is the mindset that we wish our program to have.”

Elko’s message clearly resonates along with his gamers. Sophomore wideout Jordan Moore is coming off yet one more landing efficiency, his third of the yr, but he’s remaining targeted on the purpose forward.

“We sit up for each sport the identical, I imply, we solely get 12 of those assured,” Moore stated in Tuesday’s media availability. “Each one is as treasured as the following one.”

Sustaining quick begins

Within the Blue Devils’ final two video games, they’ve shot out to giant leads, however struggled to develop them within the second quarter. In truth, Northwestern and North Carolina A&T have mixed to outscore Duke by two factors throughout each second quarters. The Jayhawks, alternatively, simply outscored Houston by 14 within the second quarter.

“I did assume we hit a lull within the second quarter,” Elko stated. “[I] actually challenged them at halftime to return out within the third quarter and get again to enjoying the best way we’re able to. ”

However, the gradual second body has come off of a lighting-quick first, one thing Elko doesn’t wish to quit.

“I do not wish to commerce beginning quick,” Elko stated. “I feel typically perhaps we chill out a little bit bit at occasions greater than I would really like us to.”

A real highway sport

The hype round this matchup is palpable in Lawrence, and like Duke final weekend, Kansas expects this sport to be a near-47,000-person sellout. Though there will likely be noise, and loads of it, Elko expects their earlier highway journey to Northwestern to pay dividends.

“Actually to your children, there’s rather less anxiousness after they’ve been via all of it,” Elko stated.

With the intention to come again to Durham as a 4-0 soccer group, the Blue Devils might want to keep composed in deafening circumstances.

Balancing the working again room

Following the Northwestern sport, Elko’s offense had two working backs rise to the highest of the pack, redshirt juniors Jordan Waters and Jaylen Coleman, leaving out sophomore again Jaquez Moore.

Towards the Wildcats, Waters and Coleman mixed for 21 carries and 174 yards, whereas Jaquez Moore had 4 carries for 9 yards. Equally, he had 4 carries towards North Carolina A&T, whereas Waters and Coleman had 10 apiece.

“I like Quez [Moore], ”Elko stated. “He nonetheless performs a task in that equation for certain. That simply continues to talk about the character of the children that we now have in our locker room. ”

With the intention to hold the Jayhawk protection uncomfortable, it will likely be as much as Duke to throw totally different offensive appears at Kansas, probably incorporating all three backs to a higher diploma.

Battle of the blue bloods

Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky are identified for his or her males’s basketball successes, not soccer. Nevertheless, this yr is the primary yr in faculty soccer history the place all 4 faculties’ soccer applications have gone 3-0 to begin their seasons.

Though the lads’s basketball groups will meet in November, Duke-Kansas is now an enormous faculty soccer matchup. The stress will likely be there for each applications, as only one loss may diminish the hype surrounding their respective groups. That hype may make this sport the largest take a look at of Elko’s head teaching tenure to this point. Duke should play its greatest sport of the season this weekend with a purpose to escape David Sales space Kansas Memorial Stadium as an undefeated group.

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