Blue Devils Bullied By Northwestern, 28-10

Jason Wright returned from an injury to run all over the Duke defense en route to a 149 yard performance, which included two touchdowns while the Northwestern defense rebounded from a dismal showing last week as the Wildcats easily beat Duke 28-10 on Saturday.

Wright wasn't the only Wildcat running wild on the Blue Devil defense as Noah Herron also tallied 100 yards, including a 69-yard scamper for a touchdown that put the game away.

When the offense wasn't having its way, the Northwestern defense wasn't allow Coach Carl Franks' game plan to go anywhere. The same Wildcat unit that surrendered 44 points and over 500 yards of offense in a loss to Miami (Ohio), prevented Duke from getting any kind of spark, holding the Devils to just 151 yards of total offense through three quarters of play.

Entering the game Duke, which fell to 2-2 on the season, had hopes of winning three straight contests for the first time since 1994. However the Devils surrendered 14 first quarter points and never were able to recover.

ACC rushing leader Chris Douglas finished the game with just 42 yards on the ground despite coming in averaging 102 yards per contest.

The Wildcats led 14-7 at intermission, but Duke sliced the lead to just four on a Brent Garber 26 yard field goal midway through the third quarter. The anemic Duke offense was aided by a personal foul penalty after the Devils came up empty on third and short.

That momentum was quickly squashed as Northwestern drove 80 yards on 11 plays to take a 21-10 lead on an eight yard Wright touchdown run with under two minutes remaining in the third.

The Blue Devils final chance ended with a costly Mike Schneider fumble after the freshman QB had driven his team down to the Northwestern 14. Schneider was hit as he was trying to throw by John Pickens, forcing the fumble. Two plays later, Herron broke through the left side and cut to the middle of the field for his 69-yard sprint that put the game out of reach.

After entering the season aiming for 3-1 after the first four games, Duke now enters a brutal stretch which includes meeting Florida State next weekend followed by home games against Wake Forest and NC State, and then at Maryland and Tennessee. Each of those five teams have occupied the top 25 at one time this season.

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