Northwestern vs Duke Prediction, Game Preview

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern vs Duke Prediction, Game Preview

College Football Predictions

Northwestern vs Duke Prediction, Game Preview

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Northwestern vs Duke prediction and game preview.


Northwestern vs Duke Broadcast

Date: Saturday, September 18
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Network: ACC Network
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Northwestern (1-1) vs Duke (1-1) Game Preview


Why Northwestern Will Win

It’s been a grind, but the Wildcats have to hope they have the running game going again.

They didn’t exactly turn it loose in the 24-6 win over Indiana State, but at least the ground attack was able to work after doing nothing in the loss to Michigan State.

Transfers and injuries gutted the running back corps, but Evan Hull was able to rumble for 126 yards and two touchdowns behind a line that came up with a decent game.

Duke has done absolutely nothing to control the clock. The D can’t get off the field, there’s no pass rush, and the team is the third-worst in the nation in time of possession. Northwestern will happily hang on to the ball for 40 minutes if it can.

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Why Duke Will Win

It’s not that the offense isn’t working. Rolling through North Carolina A&T is no big deal, but it was a good game just to show a little explosion after getting down early.

The Blue Devils could’ve done more in the choke against Charlotte to open the season, but they found their back in Mateo Durant who do some damage against the Northwestern defensive front.

If they can at least stay even in the turnover battle – only two giveaways so far after a horrible time last year hanging on to the ball – and make Northwestern try to press even a little bit offensively, they should be able to control the tempo.

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What’s Going To Happen

It’s the big measuring stick moment for both teams and their respective seasons.

Northwestern was gashed by Michigan State, and it didn’t show much against an FCSer last week. However, slow starts are nothing new to the Wildcats in the Pat Fitzgerald era. This week, though, the defense has to pitch a gem.

Duke has more offensive pop, but it hasn’t faced any sort of a defensive challenge yet. Northwestern isn’t going to run well, but the D will be strong, the O will control the clock, and it’ll be about the tempo as the game grinds on.

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Northwestern vs Duke Prediction, Line

Northwestern 23, Duke 16
Line: Northwestern -3, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

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