“We have to eliminate the bad plays,” said Drew Dudzik, quarterback. “Last week, we had some penalties that put us in third and long, and we converted, but against Virginia Tech, they’re going to make us pay for the little mistakes.”
Despite the miscues, the Dukes still managed to get great performances out of their top players against Morehead. Redshirt junior wide receiver Kerby Long was the star of the game, catching three passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
In addition, redshirt senior tailbacks Griff Yancey and Jamal Sullivan accounted for a combined 131 rushing yards and a touchdown. They will be joined in the backfield by redshirt junior Scott Noble, who will be returning from a one-game suspension because of an undisclosed rules violation.
“We have so many great skill players we need to get the ball to,” Dudzik said. “At running back we have three guys who can really get the job done, and at wide receiver we have six or seven guys who can make plays for us. We need to do a good job of spreading the ball around and controlling the ball.”
The Dukes were impressive in their sole game against an FBS opponent a year ago, falling to Maryland, 38-35 in overtime, in last season’s opener. Dudzik believes if the team manages to scratch and claw like they did in College Park last year, it can keep the game close.
“We can’t pack it in, we’ll fight to the end,” Dudzik said. “Last year against Maryland we hung around the whole game and the next thing you know we took them to overtime.”
With another year of maturation and experience, the Dukes might have the talent to give the Hokies a run. But for Dudzik, it’s about taking the game in stride and looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I think you just have to look at the game as a great opportunity,” Dudzik said. “We really have nothing to lose. They’re one of the top FBS teams in the nation.”