DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and did all its scoring in the first half of, then held off a Northwestern comeback to construct a 30-23 victory in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon.
“I would win to finish doing what losing teams manufacture,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald acknowledged. “Losing teams turn the ball over. Losing teams own self-inflicted wounds. Losing teams quit explosive performs. Losing teams own communication points. That’s why you lose video games. Right here’s no longer laborious. I’m no longer trying to discredit Duke, but we reward-wrapped it for them.”
The Blue Devils were efficient on either side of the ball early on, scoring on six of their first eight possessions behind Gunnar Holmberg, who done 31 of 44 passes for a profession-excessive 314 yards and a touchdown.
“Gunnar is playing elegant dang properly. Gunnar needs to win, and Gunnar is a humble and an unselfish player,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe acknowledged. “He’s a factual thrower. However additionally, Northwestern did crowd the line of scrimmage. There’s no motive to be laborious-headed.”
In the intervening time, the Blue Devils’ defense forced Northwestern (1-2) into a punt or a turnover on its first seven drives.
The Wildcats didn’t fetch until behind in the second quarter, following a change at quarterback. Starter Hunter Johnson threw three interceptions and was once relieved by Andrew Marty, who orchestrated a rapidly scoring pressure that lined 75 yards in moral six performs.
Northwestern mustered two more touchdown drives, but never reasonably caught up with Duke (2-1). Marty seemed as if it’d be scampering toward one other fetch in the fourth quarter, but had the ball stripped remote from him by Duke’s Dewayne Carter on a play that Cutcliffe called “momentum-swinging.”
“That’s belief to be one of many first performs I talked about in the locker room,” Cutcliffe acknowledged. “Merely an amazing effort play. That’s what a captain does. Dewayne stepped up in a huge intention.”
Marty was once injured on the play and was once changed by South Carolina switch Ryan Hilinski.
Despite fumbling twice, Mateo Durant ran for 143 yards for Duke and notched his third straight multi-touchdown game. Jake Bobo notched profession-bests in catches and yardage, hauling in 11 of Holmberg’s makes an strive for 109 yards.
Duke: The potency of the Blue Devils’ assault dwindled in the second half of as they were outscored 16-0, but the cushion Duke built for itself was once ample to maintain the Wildcats away. Defensively, Duke did something it hadn’t done in seven years by forcing five turnovers. The last time the Blue Devils had that many takeaways was once Sept. 20, 2014 against Tulane.
Northwestern: In addition to exiting this game with a loss and a seemingly seek information from at quarterback, the Wildcats’ competence on defense has slipped. A year ago, Northwestern had the fifth-easiest scoring defense in the total Bowl Subdivision, allowing a median of moral 15.6 points per-game. On Saturday, it gave up on the least 30 points for the second time this season.
NEW QB FOR NW?
After the defeat, Fitzgerald was once complimentary of his backup quarterback’s performance.
“I believed (Marty) went in and was once ready to roll. He was once assured and capable,” Fitzgerald acknowledged. “It’s uncomfortable that he obtained wound, but I believed he gave us a spark and I’m in truth proud of him.”
Fitzgerald didn’t own an update on Marty’s injury and it’s unclear who will begin next weekend. Hillsinki has journey – playing in 11 video games for the Gamecocks in 2019 – but entered this game as third on the depth chart.
“It’s laborious to fetch one quarterback ready, no longer to mention three, but I’m proud of the intention in which (Hillsinki) went available in the market and set some drives together too,” Fitzgerald acknowledged. “We obtained to contend with the ball, No. 1. Let’s begin there.”
Duke: The Blue Devils are home for the third straight game next weekend, facing the winless Kansas Jayhawks.
Northwestern: The Wildcats host the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference at Ryan Discipline next weekend.
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