Battle for Tobacco Road Preview: Duke vs UNC

The Battle for Tobacco Road ensues yet again for another year as the Duke Blue Devils take a short trip to Chapel Hill to take on the UNC Tar Heels in a big ACC matchup for both teams.

Duke is coming off of an embarrassing 19-7 showing inside the Carrier Dome to the #1 Orange last week. Not a good way to open up your ACC schedule. Junior midfielder Myles Jones was shut down last week to only an assist. He looks to get back on track, leading the team with 46 points. Freshman attackman Justin Guterding recorded two goals last week, but late in their loss with Orange backups subbing in. He looks to get back on track, but literally the entire team looks to get back on track; the other attackmen of Chad Cohen and Case Matheis, the middies of Deemer Class, Jack Bruckner, and Tanner Scott, and the d poles of Greg Pelton, Ethan Powley, and Brian Dunne. And don’t forget about FOGO Jack Rowe and goalie Luke Aaron. That’s most likely the starters for this game. I could name everyone else that played, but you get the point. Duke needs this game to be considered a contender again not only in the ACC, but also for the march to Memorial Day. After this, Duke finishes their ACC regular season portion with home games against soon-to-be #1 Notre Dame and Virginia.

The Tar Heels are also coming off of a loss, number one on the season, this one to #3 Maryland 10-8 in California. The offense failed to score double-digits for the first time this season against one of the toughest defenses in the NCAA. The explosive attack of Jimmy Bitter, Joey Sankey, and Luke Goldstock will be the second explosive attack unit that will clash with Duke in as many weeks. Middies of Chad Tutton and Peyton Klawinski should play a big part in this game as well. Who defends Myles Jones we don’t know yet, maybe sophomore Austin Pifani? Kieran Burke should be ready for this test.

This will be UNC’s first ACC matchup of the year. After this, UNC travels to Virginia on Friday, and then hosts Syracuse before traveling to South Bend to play the Irish in what may decide seeding in the ACC tourney.

The game will be televised at 1 pm on ESPNU in a busy day of lacrosse on the network that includes Brown at Princeton at 11 am and Ohio State at Penn State at 3 pm.