DURHAM, N.C. – Quarterback Daniel Jones had his way throughout the game and led the Duke Blue Devils (2-0) to a 41-17 win over the Northwestern Wildcats (1-1) on Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday.
Jones fueled the offense, finishing 29-of-45, scoring two touchdowns on his own, while throwing for 305 yards and two scores as well as rushing for 108 yards on 16 carries.
The only blemish on his record for the day was an interception which ended his consecutive pass streak without a pick at 202 completions.
The Wildcats opened the game’s scoring on a field goal from Charlie Kuhbander, but Duke’s defense did a formidable job to shut down Northwestern for the remainder of the game.
Clayton Thorsen completed 11-of-29 for 120 yards and one touchdown, while running back Justin Jackson’s three-game 100-yard-plus rushing streak (since last season) ended as Duke’s defense contained him to 18 yards on seven carries for one touchdown.
Jackson’s score with 33 seconds to go in the second quarter gave the Blue Devils a 21-10 lead at halftime.
The Blue Devils never looked back.
Duke continued to convert on third down, going 15-of-22 in those situations, and put more points on the board, adding a 31-yard field goal by Austin Parker and a touchdown reception by Davis Koppenhaver.
Carrying a 21-point lead into the final period, the Blue Devils defense continued to smother and contain Thorsen and the Wildcats offense, while Jones continued to churn more production.
Running back Shawn Wilson ran in for a touchdown while Parker added his second field goal of the game, and completed Duke’s dominating performance over its Big Ten opponent.
Offense: Duke – Daniel Jones (29-45, 2 TD, 1 INT), Shawn Wilson (58 yards 1 TD), T.J. Rahming (127 yards, 12 carries); Northwestern – Clayton Thorson (11-29, 2 INT), Justin Jackson (18 yards, 7 carries, 1 TD), Riley Lees (31 yards, 2 carries, 1 TD)
Defense: Duke – Alonzo Saxton II (7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL), Joe Giles-Harris (6 tackles), Ben Humphreys (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL); Northwestern – Paddy Fisher (18 tackles, 0.5 TFL), Godwin Igwebuike (14 tackles, 0.5 TFL), Montre Hartage (11 tackles, 1 INT)
Coming in: With a history dating back to 1985, it was the 19th meeting between the two programs, with the Wildcats leading the series (10-8), and claiming the last three in a row, including last year’s 24-13 win in Evanston…Both came into this year’s match-up carrying season-opening wins – a 60-7 win over N.C. Central for the Blue Devils, and 31-20 win over Nevada for the Wildcats.
Going out: Duke ended Northwestern’s dominance, losing eight of the last nine, and posted a win at home over the Wildcats for the first time since a 44-10 victory in 1998…The Blue Devils remained undefeted while handing Northwestern its first loss of the season.