Rapid Reaction: Northwestern muscles out 19-10 win over Duke

Huzaifa Patel, Reporter

It was a struggle all day for freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and Northwestern’s offense, but the defense and special teams carried the team to a 19-10 victory over Duke in Durham, North Carolina.

In the fourth quarter, junior running back Warren Long, behind great blocking from the offensive line and a key block from superback Dan Vitale, took his second carry of the day 55 yards to put Northwestern up 19-10 and in the driver’s seat to finish the game.

But that was about the extent of offensive production for the day.

Sophomore Anthony Walker was once again all over the field, recording 19 tackles and playing a key part in shutting down Duke’s running and short passing game.

Senior defensive end Dean Lowry also impressed with big play after big play, the biggest being an acrobatic tipped-ball interception to thwart what could’ve been a scoring drive for Duke in the second quarter.

All three running backs put their stamp on the game in some way. Sophomore running back Justin Jackson only averaged 3.4 yards per carry but wore the Duke defense down with 35 carries for 120 yards.

Fellow sophomore Solomon Vault scored Northwestern’s first touchdown of the game on a 98-yard kickoff return to open the second half, suddenly handing the Cats a 9-7 lead.

The defense continued its stellar play after that, allowing only a field goal and helping NU close out the game.

The Cats are now 3-0 entering a home contest against Ball State next Saturday, putting themselves in good position to enter conference play undefeated.

Email: [email protected]northwestern.edu
Twitter: @huzaifapatel95