Troy vs


at Birmingham
Sat, Dec 23
9:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 222
Odds: Duke +7.5, Total: 44.5

Game Analysis

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Troy (-7.5)  24   Duke  19

Duke had potential to be really good this season with a good offense and a very good defense, but starting quarterback Riley Leonard was injured and the Blue Devils promising season, which started with a 28-7 win over Clemson, ended with 4 losses in the last 6 games with mostly backup quarterbacks. Texas A&M was impressed enough with the job that head coach Mike Elko did that they hired him away from Duke. A significant number of starters have transferred, including Leonard, two offensive linemen, and 5 defensive starters (plus a key backup). Troy lost their head coach but just one starter has decided to transfer, and the Trojans certainly deserve to be more than a touchdown favorite in this game.

Duke will continue to start Grayson Loftis at quarterback and the Blue Devils have managed to average 31.5 points in his 4 starts. That average is misleading given that they averaged just 5.2 yards per play (against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average offense). Loftis only completed 53% of his passes and he’s not the runner that Leonard was (394 yards on just 51 runs). He may also be without his top 2 running backs. Jordan Waters transferred and Jaquez Moore’s status is unclear given that he entered the portal and then decided to come back to Duke. I’ll assume Moore will play and that would be significant given his 5.9 ypr average (5.3 ypr for Waters). I rate Duke’s offense at 0.5 yppl worse than average while Troy’s defense is 0.6 yppl better than average even without leading tackler LB Jayden McDonald, who has entered the transfer portal but is on depth chart. Some teams don’t update their depth chart but it’s possible that he’ll play in this game. I’ll assume for now that McDonald is out, but that All-American Javon Solomon (16 sacks) will play, although it’s possible he opts out to prepare for the Senior Bowl and the NFL draft combine. I project just 263 yards at 4.6 yppl for the Blue Devils in this game.

Troy averaged 6.2 ypl and averaged 31 points per game but the Trojans are just 0.1 yppl better than average after adjusting for defensive units faced. Duke was 0.8 yppl better than average this season but I rate that unit as average without 6 key defenders, who are worth a combined 3.8 points. Troy is projected to gain 402 yards on 5.8 yppl.

The line appears to have adjusted to all of the Duke defections, as I get Troy by 9 points with a total of 44 points. However, Troy applies to a 14-74-1 ATS bowl situation that is 0-13 ATS when applying to a favorite of more than 7 points so I’d rather have Duke in this game – although not enough to call it a Lean.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Troy
  • Duke


  • Run Plays 33.2 29.3
  • Run Yards 169.4 131.6
  • YPRP 5.1 4.5


  • Pass Comp 19.9 19.5
  • Pass Att 32.2 31.2
  • Comp % 61.8% 62.6%
  • Pass Yards 265.0 208.0
  • Sacks 2.1 3.5
  • Sack Yards 14.5 25.2
  • Sack % 6.1% 10.2%
  • Pass Plays 34.3 34.8
  • Net Pass Yards 250.5 182.9
  • YPPP 7.3 5.3


  • Total Plays 67.5 64.1
  • Total Yards 419.9 314.5
  • YPPL 6.2 4.9


  • Int 0.4 0.7
  • Int % 1.2% 2.2%
  • Fumbles 0.9 0.9
  • Turnovers 1.3 1.6
  • Points 31.2 17.2
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