Tag Archives: Duke-Northwestern

Duke looks to go 2-0 versus the favored Northwestern Wildcats

[private]Northwestern invades Wallace Wade Stadium to face the Blue Devils in a matchup between two 1-0 teams. The Wildcats seek to avenge at narrow loss which gave Duke it’s only victory last season. Duke hopes to go to 2-0 for the first time since 1998.

Northwestern features a balanced offensive attack spearheaded by quarterback C.J. Batcher and tailback Tyrell Sutton. The Wildcats played without the services of Sutton last season in the teams matchup. They also gain their top defensive lineman back after a one game suspension. For those who expect to see the same team with 17 starters back, keep in mind that Northwestern brought in four new coaches including a new DC.

So, in a sense, this will be two teams that despite returning their core starters, will likely see a new wrinkle or two on both sidelines. That said, which team will be the most prepared? New Coach David Cutcliffe had all summer to prepare for James Madison and he obviously did a masterful job. He’s had much less time to prepare for the Wildcats who come in a 6.5 favorite despite being on the road.

Cutcliffe knows that Northwestern runs a spread offense and a similar defensive scheme that his Devils run. Duke will try to keep a potent offense out of the end zone and hope to control the ball to keep the defense fresh. Look for Duke to try and get into the secondary depth of the Cats where four freshman are backups.

Weather could play a factor if it rains or there is a wet field. This would seem to favor Northwestern in that it would slow down the Devils speed. If the Dukies can find a way to win, Cutcliffe and crew will be the talk of the town and the resurgence will be in full swing.

Cutcliffe and his team have encouraged students and fans to turn out in force again and they need the support. So, don’t mind the possible rain. That’s what they make ponchos and umbrellas for. This will be another entertaining game and I’d like to see you in Wallace Wade so you can tell everybody on Sunday you saw Duke win it’s second game of the season. Be loud, be proud and cheer hard and wear your Duke Blue![/private]

Quick hitter #7 – QB, Thaddeus Lewis talks of TD’s to Riley, and fan support

[private]What do you think of your performance against JMU?

I think it was okay.  There’s always room for improvement after the first game.  The mistakes we made in the James Madison game will need to be corrected.

Do you feel like last weeks performance helped further develop the fan base?

Definitely!  The fans stayed out there in the rain during an hour delay to see what Duke had to offer.  We came out there and performed to the best of our ability and tried to give them what they came to see.

You had two hook ups with Eron Riley for touchdowns.  Is it safe to say he is your main man?

Definitely!  There is something about Eron that you know if it is thrown his way, he’s going to come up with it.  On the two touchdowns … the first one I was kind of surprised to see him get in my vision and he never hit that route, but he kind of got there … you know, it’s just what the defense gave us.  He was open in that situation.   I have a feeling Coach wants to get him in position to get more catches than he actually had.  You’ll see a lot more of that this year.

It seemed that play was designed to go another way …

Yes.  It was a smash combination.  They covered Eron pretty well, but he got to the backside.  In that situation you have to use your eyes to work the cornerback either way.  As it so happens I was trying to look back this way to see if I could move him a little bit and Eron came in my vision.

What did you think about the Blue Devil Walk and the pre game festivities?

I thought that was great.  You know, just to see the fans, students, faculty and everybody cheering you on … you don’t always have that where you are use to getting off the bus and you are gone.  Just having that walk and getting a connection with the fans before you get out there on the football field and you feel as one.  The fans don’t always get to see you up close and give you a handshake on a one on one basis like they did during the walk.

Is it safe to say that kind of thing made a difference in the teams play?

I can definitely say that the fan support makes a difference.  It’s like the twelfth man on the field.  We need that extra boost on third and long offense or defense.  Just to get a win – that’s going to make them come back and cheer you on again.

What are your thoughts going into the Northwestern game?

It’s going to be a good game, it was last year.  They’re a different football team, so we will definitely have to go out there and prepare well.  I’m pretty sure they are working hard.[/private]