by Mike Potter
N.C. State seems to have the ship righted again after the Wolfpack’s big win over UNC last weekend, while Duke has no margin of error left if the Blue Devils are to earn their first bowl bid since 1994.
And then at 3 p.m. Duke (3-6, 1-4) will be at Virginia (6-3, 3-2), with the Blue Devils needing their fourth straight win in the series to keep those bowl hopes alive.
State walloped BC 44-17 last season in Raleigh, and needs only to beat two opponents with current combined records of 4-14 (current 2-7 Maryland visits Carter-Finley on Nov. 28) to qualify for a bowl.
“I had a great 10 years in Boston; Boston College is a great school,” O’Brien said. “My three kids have graduated from the school. It’s a little easier now because I really don’t know anyone on the football team anymore. They’re in the transition year, the fifth year. It’s Senior Day and they have fewer fifth year guys than we do playing. …
“We’ve got to beat BC on Saturday, that’s the first thing we have to do. We still have three games, we need to win two to get there, but the best chance we have is Saturday because that’s the only chance we have. We have to take care of business Saturday, and then count it up after that.”
Duke’s only November win in Coach David Cutcliffe’s tenure was a 55-48 home victory over the Wahoos two seasons ago.
“We’re playing a really talented and hot Virginia team,” Cutcliffe said. “The thing that Virginia’s doing is kind of original recipe how you win games. They’re running the ball, playing really good defense and playing the kicking game. And that’s how you win games. They’re 6-3, we’re 3-6. They’ve won their winnable games and we haven’t. That’s kind of the story of that point, but we’re excited. We’ll be up and we’ll be ready to play. We need some work, but we’ll be ready to play by Saturday.”