Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk scored a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and that has been good enough to give the Blue Devils a halftime advantage (7-3) on visiting Northwestern. One of the five games today between the ACC and Big Ten, this one has been either about solid defense from Duke.
Northwestern has converted just one of 10 third down attempts so far in the game, and Duke’s pass defense has been spot on in shutting down anything being thrown by Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson. Thorson has completed five of 16 pass attempts and has been picked off once. Sirk has also been intercepted, but he has been far more effective through the air despite not-so-flattering passing yardage.
Duke’s defense has been the big winner so far. Northwestern has just 57 yards of offense at the break, which is good because the Blue Devils have not had a clean first half on offense. Duke has lost two turnovers, but the defense has made sure no damage came of it.