Duke-Pittsburgh Preview Capsule

No. 24 Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) at Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-2), 12 p.m. (ESPNU)

Line: Pitt by 4.

Series Record: Pitt leads 10-8.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Duke can strengthen its grip atop the crowded ACC Coastal Division with a victory while basically knocking the erratic Panthers out of the race completely. The Blue Devils are the only team in the Coastal without two conference losses and have a user-friendly schedule the rest of the way with only one of their final four games on the road.

KEY MATCHUP

Pitt’s offense vs. itself: The Panthers tied a FBS record by fumbling five times in the first quarter of last week’s 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech. Pitt coughed it up six times in all, with each one of the miscues recovered by the Yellow Jackets. Duke has a plus-8 turnover margin, best in the ACC.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Duke: S Jeremy Cash. A second-team All-American a year ago, the junior may be even better this fall. Cash has two interceptions, four pass breakups, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.

Pitt: WR Tyler Boyd. The sophomore is already 10th on the school’s all-time receptions list (130) after playing in just 21 career games and had nine catches for 137 yards against Georgia Tech despite facing constant double teams. Boyd’s 45 receptions this season are one less than the combined total of the four teammates behind him.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The Panthers won a 58-55 shootout in Durham last year… Duke is 14-3 since that game while the Panthers are 9-9. … The Blue Devils have the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense, allowing just 15.1 points per game. … Pitt RB James Conner leads the ACC with 1,079 yards rushing. … Duke is 5-3 following an open date under coach David Cutcliffe. … The Panthers are sixth in the FBS in pass defense, allowing 165.6 yards per game, but gave up 465 yards rushing to Georgia Tech. … A win would make Duke 7-1 for the first time since 1994. … Duke WR Jamison Crowder needs three receptions to pass former Clemson star Sammy Watkins for the second-most career catches in ACC history. Crowder has 238 receptions. Former Blue Devil Conner Vernon holds the record with 283.