Northwestern at Duke Prediction - College Football Picks 9/16/23

Duke Blue Devils (2-0) vs Northwestern Wildcats (1-1)

Game Info: Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 3:30 pm (Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium)

Betting Odds: Duke Blue Devils -20.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Northwestern Wildcats will head down to Durham to meet the Duke Blue Devils this weekend from Wallace Wade Stadium on the ACC Network. Northwestern and Duke have an extended history, as they met in non-conference action in each season from 1996-2003, and this will mark the third year in a row they’ve faced off. Duke holds the head-to-head lead, 12-10, after winning four straight meetings.

Northwestern Wildcats Preview

Northwestern comes in at 1-1 after defeating UTEP at home, 38-7. The Wildcats gave up an opening drive touchdown, before channeling their Big Ten roots, and holding the Miners scoreless the rest of the way. Through two games, the Northwestern offense is scoring 22.5 ppg, while totaling 296 yards per game, gaining 198.0 ypg through the air, and rushing for 98.5 ypg. 

Northwestern Player Notes

Ben Bryant appears to be the guy for Northwestern after managing last week’s contest well, protecting the ball, while going 11/17 for 116 yards, with a touchdown pass and rush. Bryant’s first road didn’t go well against Rutgers, and he’ll now face a stiff test down in Carolina versus an improved Duke defense. 

• Senior back Cam Porter found more room to run against UTEP, as he paced the backfield with 90 rushing yards. 

• ASU transfer Cam Johnson leads the Wildcats in receptions (7) and receiving yards (96) through two contests. 

• The Northwestern defense held UTEP to 3/13 on third downs, while allowing 319 total yards.

 

Duke Blue Devils Preview

Duke comes in at 2-0 after defeating Lafayette at home by five touchdowns, 42-7. The Blue Devils followed up one of their biggest win in school history with a strong two-way effort against the Leopards, and they’ll now look to defeat another group of cats this weekend. Through two games, the Duke offense is scoring 35.0 ppg, while totaling 444.5 yards per game, gaining 214.5 ypg through the air, and rushing for 230.0 ypg. 

Duke Player Notes 

Riley Leonard enjoyed a short contest last week against Lafayette, going 12/12 for 136 yards and touchdown toss. Leonard performed heroically in the win over Clemson, and after playing well against Northwestern last season, he could be another strong outing this weekend. Leonard has passed for 311 yards with one touchdown, and rushed for 111 yards and a score through two games. 

• Senior back Jordan Waters surpassed the 100-yard mark again and scored multiple times in the win over Lafayette. 

• Junior RB Jaquez Moore has also scored in both contests, and he’s gained 115 yards on eighteen carries.

• Third-year wideout Jordan Moore led the way with 84 receiving yards and a score against the Leopards. 

• Veteran wideout Jalon Calhoun leads Duke in receptions (9), and he found the endzone in the Week 2 win as well.

• The Duke defense held Lafayette to 4/11 on third downs, while allowing just 213 total yards.

Corey’s Free Pick

Duke is on a mission to crash the ACC title picture this season, and I believe they’ll control both sides of the ball in this contest. The Blue Devils carry advantages at each of the skill positions, and with a bash with Notre Dame waiting in the wings, this game should serve as another confidence builder. Northwestern may not be able to do much offensively, but we can count on them to make a few stops alongside the Duke defense, and I like the Under for this matchup. Very little chance of upset here.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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