The second of three college football bowl games for Tuesday, Dec 26 offers the Duke Blue Devils (6-6) at the Northern Illinois Huskies (8-4). The Blue Devils, who finished sixth in the ACC Coastal Conference with a 3-5 record, come to today’s game having won their last two contests. The Huskies, who were second in the MAC West with a 6-2 mark, went 3-2 for their last five games. Our Duke plays Northern Illinois 2017 Quick Lane Bowl pick has the Blue Devils favored at -7.0 and the totals at 46.5.
The Duke offense is churning out 168 YPG on the ground, while also gaining a total of 210 YPG through the air. They are averaging 25.8 PPG. Sophomore QB Daniel Jones (55.7 COMP%, 12 TDs, 11 INTs), who has six rushing TDs, will need to keep the ball on track when passing. WR T.J. Rahming is the club’s top pass catcher with 63 receptions. RBs Shaun Wilson (146 ATT, 743 YDs, 5.1 AVG, 5 TDs) and Brittain Brown (117 ATT, 660 YDs, 5.6 AVG, 6 TDs) will shoulder much of the offensive attack in this game.
The Blue Devils are holding opponents to 20.8 PPG. Duke has a tough time versus the run, allowing 160 yards per game on the ground, while they are holding pass attacks to 175 YPG. LB Joe Giles-Harris, who leads Duke in tackles (117) and TFL (15), is a major anchor for the D, while DT Mike Ramsay (42 TCKLs, 5.5 SCKs, 9.5 TFL) is aggressive and efficient. CB Mark Gilbert, who has six picks and 13 PD, is an exceptional player with game-changing skills. The team has 15 interceptions and 50 PD.
Blue Devils Summary
- Excellent pass defense
- Can they stop Husky rush attack?
- Duke ground game success essential
Northern Illinois Overview
Through their ground attack, the Huskies are averaging 187 YPG. They are putting up another 197 yards per game via the air attack. Northern Illinois is putting an average of 30.2 PPG on the scoreboard. Freshman QB Marcus Childers (57.3 COMP%, 15 TDs, 5 INTs) is not only a fine passer, but s decent runner who has averaged 3.4 YPA and rushed for five touchdowns. Three receivers come to this game with 38 or more receptions apiece and a total of 11 TDs. RB Jordan Huff is the team’s primary running back. He’s gained a total of 740 yards on 127 carries, while averaging 5.8 YPA and scoring five times.
Like the Blue Devils, the Huskies are holding teams to 20.8 PPG. They are especially tough versus the rush, keeping average yards per game at 212. Teams have been averaging 216 YPG through the air. Sophomore LB/DE Sutton Smith comes to today’s game with 14 sacks, 29 TFL, and three forced and recovered fumbles. He could be a huge factor in today’s contest. LB Jawuan Johnson (86 TCKLs, 5 INTs, 13.5 TFL) will surely be in the mix today, as will LB Bobby Jones IV (97 TCKLs, 4 SCKs, 11 TFL), the leading tackler on the team.
- ‘Northern Illinois’ ground game is healthy and productive
- Childers has performed well as QB
- Fine defense especially versus the run
Three Quick Lane Bowl Takeaways
In creating our Duke plays Northern Illinois 2017 Quick Lane Bowl pick, we see these three takeaways as being important-
- QB edge to Huskies
- Ground attack edge to Blue Devils
- Defensive edge- none; teams are tied
Our Quick Lane Bowl Pick
In developing our Duke plays Northern Illinois 2017 Quick Lane Bowl pick, we see the Huskies as being in a good place to cover. We are taking Northern Illinois at +7.0. Also, we see great potential for the over at 46.5.