With an 0-2 record, following home losses to Western Michigan and Illinois State, the Northwestern Wildcats look to somewhat salvage their nonconference schedule on Saturday night as they host the Duke Blue Devils (1-1) in a primetime matchup at Ryan Field. The game is a rematch of a game from last season, which Northwestern won 19-10 in Durham.
After a disappointing but reasonable 22-21 loss to the Broncos in the season opener, the Wildcats were shocked by the FCS Redbirds last week, falling 9-7 on a last-second field goal by Illinois State’s Sean Slattery. The 2016 campaign is already hanging in the balance for Northwestern, which lost two regular season games all of last year, both in conference play.
As always, we’ve covered this week’s matchup with the Blue Devils from all perspectives. If Northwestern isn’t able to come away with a victory against Duke, which is without starting quarterback Thomas Sirk due to a season-ending Achilles injury, it’ll be panic time in Evanston.
- Here’s this week’s depth chart. Matthew Harris is out with a head injury, while there are some major shakeups on defense and special teams. Kyle Quiero and Ben Oxley are also out.
- Pat Fitzgerald spoke to the media. Surprise, he wasn’t happy.
- We took an in-depth look at the Wildcats’ offensive line struggles. The Redbirds dominated both lines of scrimmage, but Northwestern’s offensive front was especially bad.
- Which coaches/units are to blame for the team’s struggles? Well, it could be all of them.
- There were multiple Pound The Talks.
- Duke, which lost to Wake Forest at home last week, has its own share of problems. The Blue Devils have a weak offensive line and Northwestern could take advantage of Duke’s inexperience upfront.
- Somehow, a fair amount of our writers have faith in Northwestern beat Duke this Saturday.
Game time: 7:00 pm CST
TV channel: Big Ten Network
Online stream: BTN2Go.com
Betting line: Northwestern -4