|Stepfan Taylor ran for 116 yards and a touchdown against San Jose State. (US Presswire)|
Duke Blue Devils (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at No. 25 Stanford Cardinal (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Spread: Stanford by 15
Watchability: Last week, this game didn’t really register. However, after the first weekend when Stanford just barely got by San Jose State, 20-17, and Duke easily handled Florida International, 46-26, there is some intrigue. This game will tell whether last week was an aberration for Stanford and if Duke is for real.
Shining Stars: Stanford: Senior running back Stepfan Taylor has had back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons and he played very well against San Jose State. Taylor had 26 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Stanford nickel back Usua Amanam had two sacks and four tackles for loss last week. Duke: Quarterback Sean Renfree completed 21 of 30 passes for 290 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against FIU. Wide receiver Conner Vernon caught 10 passes for 180 yards and a score.
Who could steal the show: Stanford: Linebacker Shayne Skov makes his return for the Cardinal. Skov suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sept. 17 last year and had to serve a one-game suspension last week. Duke: Defensive end Kenny Anunike had four sacks in 2011 despite missing the final eight games with a knee injury. Anunike returned to action last week and had three tackles and 0.5 sacks against FIU.
You going? Ranking the road trip: While Duke football doesn’t have the same appeal in football as it does in basketball, it is a night game in Palo Alto. A football game is as good of an excuse as any to head to Stanford’s campus.
Magic number for Duke: 165. That is the number of rushing yards per game Duke allowed last season, which ranked No. 73 nationally. Coincidentally, FIU had 165 yards in its loss to Duke last week. The Blue Devils will have to do a good job defending the run to beat Stanford.
Magic number for Stanford: 125. Quarterback Josh Nunes threw for 125 yards and a touchdown last week. His predecessor, Andrew Luck, threw for fewer than 125 yards just once in his college career. Luck threw for 103 yards on Sept. 26, 2009 in a 34-14 win over Washington.
The game comes down to: Whether Duke can slow Stanford’s rushing attack. If the Blue Devils can stop the run, they just might have a shot. If they can’t, the defense will tire quickly, and the game could get ugly.
Prediction: Stanford 38, Duke 20
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.