Duke football looks to build winning streak against Big Ten foe

Duke football (William Howard-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke football (William Howard-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke football team will be looking to build a winning streak against Northwestern. 

It has not been the smoothest of starts to the season for the Duke football team, posting a .500 record through two games against non-Power-5 teams, but a Big Ten opponent will come to Durham on Saturday afternoon.

The Northwestern Wildcats will look for their second victory of the season after dropping their season opener to Michigan State at home, 38-21, before picking up a victory over Indiana State, 24-3.

Saturday inside Wallace Wade Stadium has the potential to be an ugly football game.

The Big Ten, especially Northwestern, is not known for its offenses, and Duke, well, is not the most efficient of teams on the offensive side of the football.

ALSO READ: Duke overcomes slow start to earn first win of season

After losing to Charlotte in the first game of the season, a slow start awaited the Blue Devils against North Carolina A&T before pulling away in the second half.

Northwestern picked up two Big Ten West Division Championships in 2018 and 2020, but Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats have not been able to get over the hump and win the Big Ten Championship Game.

Fitzgerald leans on his standout running back Evan Hull, who has 213 rushing yards on 31 attempts through two games, while quarterback Hunter Johnson has thrown for 349 yards and four touchdowns.

Duke football has formula to find second victory of season

It is much easier said than done. but David Cutcliffe has the formula to get the second victory of the season for the Blue Devils.

First, Duke must get out to a fast start on the defensive side of the ball.

North Carolina A&T posted a 20-play, 86-yard, 12-minute touchdown drive to begin the game and take an early lead.

That just cannot happen, especially since the Blue Devils allowed another 14-play touchdown drive at the end of the first half as well.

Duke’s defense must be able to get off the field on third down.

ALSO READ: Duke standout Daniel Jones looks very shaky in season opener

Second, Mataeo Durant has to get going once again.

Durant had 255 rushing yards against Charlotte but just 41 yards against the Aggies last week. However, the running back did have three touchdown rushes in each game.

Whichever team has the best defense and running game will win the game on Saturday, and it truly is a toss-up.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm EST from Wallace Wade Stadium on the ACC Network.

PREDICTION: Northwestern 27, Duke 13

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