Duke Preview and Prediction
By Hans Steckly
Matchup: Duke Blue Devils (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (1-0)
Date: Saturday, September 8, 2018, 11:00 am CDT, Ryan Field
Line: Northwestern (-3)
Duke is puke, Wake is fake, who we hate is NC State.
It's a fun little jingle that our child brought home from kindergarten last year.
Do I need to rehash last year's matchup? 41-17. A lot of
overall yards vs a little. Great game for Daniel Jones and TJ
Rahming. Cats had 22 rushing yards on 21 carries. As Harry
Doyle would say, "That's all we got, one goddamn yard per carry?"
Fitz said "We were out-coached, out-executed, out-played. That starts and ends with me."
I'm not sure what the difference is between out-executed and
out-played. Maybe he meant to say we were executed and
out-played. But, what I'm wondering is what has changed in a
year. Did Duke get better or worse? They went on to lose 6
in a row in the middle of their season, but finished with 3 wins
in a row before thumping NU again in the Quick Lane Bowl.....Wait, that
was NIU. Well Duke couldn't seem to tell the difference.
Nonetheless, Jones has developed into a better quarterback while
Thorson is good but has a major knee injury to overcome. Justin
Jackson is gone as are Igwebuike, Queiro, and Lancaster--the best parts
of the worst pass D in the Big 10. Meanwhile, Jones and Rahming
return with 5 other starters on O, and 8 return for a defense ranked
21st in the nation last year.
And....I'm a Fitz fan, but what is the likelihood that he won't be out-coached by Cutcliffe again?
So, how is NU favored by 3 and experts are picking them to handily
cover? It's like picking me to make a good impression at a date
party; I feel like they just don't know me.
The one area that Cats could have gained an edge is mentally, only
because they must have had their steel confiscated last year when they
passed through the mettle detector before the flight to
Durham. There's a big maybe that they can write the blowout off
to showing up flat, and they can show up at home with a score to settle.
We might want to take away the Cats' pledge pin before the party
starts, but I can't pick against them when they are favored.
However, the only way I foresee victory is if it comes down to a last
touchdown and Duke goes for 2 on the road; we double cover Rahming,
forcing a pass to a tight end who can't quite hold on to it.
Pick: In a squeaker Northwestern 24 - Puke 23.
Lowes Line ytd 1-0 and 1-0 ATS
The Lowes Line is an
e-mailed description of NU's
football game, with an invariably fearless prediction of the outcome
how NU will fare against what the other "experts" predict. Our
friend and Brother Marcus Lowes began the broadcast mailing in 1996.
The crack Lowes Line Staff (alumni Jersey Cat,
GallopingGrapes, Eric Cockerill, Joel Kanvik, Charlie Simon, and
MO'Cats) have continued the Line in memory of Marcus.
the 2018 season it has returned to HailToPurple.com,
for anyone to enjoy. Thanks to the gridiron brain trust at the Lowes