Duke @


Sat, Sep 17
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 189
Odds: Northwestern -3.5, Total: 44.5

Game Analysis

Create an account to get analysis and updates sent to your inbox.

Duke (+3 ½)  23   NORTHWESTERN  22

Northwestern won 19-10 at Duke last season but I’ll call for the Blue Devils to get their revenge against a struggling Wildcats squad that has already lost home games as favorites to Western Michigan and FCS team Illinois State. Northwestern has a good defense but the Wildcats’ offense has averaged only 4.8 yards per play and quarterback Clayton Thorson is still horrible. Thorson averaged only 4.1 yards on 300 pass plays against FBS opponents last season and he’s managed to average just 5.2 yards per pass play in two games this season despite facing two worse than average defensive teams. The Wildcats don’t run the ball well either (just 4.3 yards per rushing play), so I don’t see them scoring too many points against what is a mediocre Duke defense.

Duke’s offense is certainly nothing special but sophomore quarterback Daniel Jones has shown promise since taking over in the first half of week 1 after original starting QB Parker Boehme struggled early in that game. Jones has completed 65% of his passes and averaged 7.3 yards per pass play – although against teams that would allow 7.4 yppp to an average quarterback – and this game will prove to be another test after posting decent numbers in his first start last week against a solid Wake Forest defense. Duke doesn’t have a running game either and Northwestern has a good defense but I trust Jones more than I trust Wildcats’ quarterback Thorson.

Overall my ratings favor Northwestern by just 2 ½ points but the Wildcats are a perennially bad home favorite. Not only have they lost straight up twice this season as a home favorite but the Wildcats are now 20-44 ATS laying points in Evanston going back a long way, including 14-40 ATS when they don’t have revenge for a previous season loss. Northwestern also applies to a negative 98-163-2 ATS situation that is based on last week’s upset loss and teams that lose straight up to an FCS team are just 33-59-3 ATS as a favorite against an FBS team in their next game, including 10-30-1 ATS against a non-conference opponent. In other words, losing to Illinois State is a bad omen for the Wildcats and I’ll call for the upset.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Duke
  • Northwestern


  • Run Plays 31.3 36.0
  • Run Yards 122.8 143.8
  • YPRP 4.4 4.6


  • Pass Comp 28.8 18.0
  • Pass Att 45.5 33.3
  • Comp % 63.2% 54.1%
  • Pass Yards 306.3 299.8
  • Sacks 2.5 3.8
  • Sack Yards 13.5 22.8
  • Sack % 5.2% 10.1%
  • Pass Plays 48.0 37.0
  • Net Pass Yards 292.8 277.0
  • YPPP 6.1 7.5


  • Total Plays 79.3 73.0
  • Total Yards 429.0 443.5
  • YPPL 5.4 6.1


  • Int 2.0 1.3
  • Int % 4.4% 3.8%
  • Fumbles 1.0 0.8
  • Turnovers 3.0 2.0
  • Points 26.8 24.6
Share This