Miami Football needs to force turnovers against Duke

Nov 30, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team will need to force turnovers in their game Saturday at Duke.

Duke enters their game on Saturday with the Miami football team 127th in the nation in turnover margin per game. The Blue Devils have an average deficit of 1.44 turnovers per game to their opponent. Duke has turned the ball over 30 times through 15 fumbles and interceptions each in nine games.

The Blue Devils defense has recovered nine fumbles and has eight interceptions in 2020. Miami has forced 11 turnovers by their opponents this season while committing eight of their own. The Hurricanes defense has 10 interceptions and recovered two fumbles. Miami has lost three fumbles and thrown five interceptions.

Turning Duke over on Saturday night in Durham should be a key deciding factor for Miami. The Blue Devils are in the middle of the pack in the ACC in almost every other category. Only Akron, Bowling Green and Utah who have combined to play as many games as the nine Duke are worse in turnover margin per game.

Miami has not been as proficient in forcing turnovers or getting sacks this season. Junior cornerback Al Blades Jr. is the only Miami football player with multiple interceptions this season with two and graduate transfer defensive end Quincy Roche the only Hurricane with multiple fumble recoveries with two.

No one else on the Miami football team has multiple turnovers this season. Bubba Bolden does lead the Hurricanes with three forced fumbles. No one else has more than one. Sacks and tackles for loss often lead to turnovers. Miami matched its season-high with six sacks in its last game against Virginia Tech.

The Hurricanes rank 22nd nationally, but just ninth in the ACC with 23 sacks and an average of 2.88 per game in eight games this season. Miami is fifth in the ACC with 68 TFLs and third with an average of 8.5 per game. The Hurricanes are 10th nationally in TFLs and sixth in TFLs per game.

Getting to Duke quarterback Chase Brice will be worth watching on Saturday. Brice has thrown the most interceptions nationally this season with 12 in eight games. Jeff Sims of Georgia Tech who Miami is scheduled to play in two weeks is second with 10 in eight games. K.J. Costello of Mississippi State has thrown 10 in five games.

If the turnover chain makes multiple appearances in Durham on Saturday night Miami should win. Duke has had only two games this season with just one turnover. The Blue Devils lost 38-31 to Virginia Tech and defeated Charlotte 53-19. Duke had four turnovers in their other win against Syracuse who did not have any turnovers.

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The Blue Devils have proven they can win with a poor turnover margin. Miami has to take care of the ball. Duke is tied for 10th nationally forcing 17 turnovers in nine games. The Hurricanes have done an exceptional job protecting the ball this season ranking second in the ACC with eight turnovers. That should continue Saturday.