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Duke Rides Quentin Harris to History

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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With Harris leading the charge, Duke dropped 45 on Bud Foster’s Virginia Tech defense, handing the Hokies their worst home loss in conference play since 1950, and simultaneously picking up Duke’s biggest ACC road win, 45-10, since 1989.

Despite a brutally tough start to the season against Alabama, which, like… it’s Alabama, Quentin Harris is off to a historically good start in 2019.

Even including that opener against the Tide, Harris has compiled 842 passing yards, another 303 on the ground, and 12 total touchdowns.

To put that dual-threat productivity in perspective, only ten other P5 players have had at least 800 passing yards, 300 rushing yards, and 12 touchdowns in the first four games of the season, since the turn of the century. That shortlist includes the likes of Heisman winners Lamar Jackson (twice), Tim Tebow, and Johnny Manziel.

With him leading the charge, Duke dropped 45 on Bud Foster’s Virginia Tech defense, handing the Hokies their worst home loss in conference play since 1950, and simultaneously picking up Duke’s biggest ACC road win, 45-10, since 1989.

Some could chalk it up to another disappointing VT defense, as Foster is on his way out.

Then again, at this rate, Harris and the Blue Devils are going to make a lot of defensive coordinators look bad.

Coupled with some creative, aggressive play calling, this was a unit that looked unstoppable. From a tricky double pass, to a fake bubble screen that saw tight end Noah Gray stroll in from 16 yards out, they were firing on all cylinders the entire night.

He dominated outside the numbers, threw guys open, used his legs when he needed to, but not superfluously, be it on scrambles or designed runs, moved through his progressions and checked it down if nothing else was there. And, to be fair, his supporting cast did a nice job of picking up those YAC when he did.

The full skill set was on display. He showed the things you can’t teach, like how he accelerates out of the read option, and the things David Cutcliffe has instilled in his pupils for years, like trusting his eyes -- see it, hit it.

For as crazy as the ACC Coastal always seems to be, this year feels pretty straightforward, especially given Miami’s performance thus far.

It’s a two horse race between Duke and Virginia, with the mid-October matchup in Charlottesville potentially deciding the whole thing.

In the interest of extending that equine metaphor, there’s not a better jockey in the division right now than Quentin Harris.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP