Josh Priebe, Northwestern fall to No. 21-ranked Duke

Published 7:28 am Sunday, September 17, 2023

DURHAM, N.C. — Northwestern fell 38-14 to No. 21 Duke at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Devils struck first with an opening drive touchdown and extended their lead to 17-0 early in the second quarter. The Wildcats responded with a 15 play, 73-yard drive that spanned 8:26 to cut the deficit to 17-7 at the half. However, Duke outscored the ‘Cats 21-7 in the second half en route to their third victory on the season.

Ben Bryant earned the start under center, completing 17 of 34 passes for 123 yards. In the second quarter, Bryant found A.J. Henning for a 14-yard touchdown to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard. It marked the second-straight game in which the transfer wideout Henning found the end zone. Brendan Sullivan as the Northwestern signal caller, leading the ‘Cats on a 13-play, 71-yard drive, capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by Sullivan.

Henning hauled in his first career touchdown reception, a 14-yard pass from Bryant. Cam Johnson, who tallied a season-high five receptions for 45 yards, has recorded 45+ yards in every game this season.
Anto Saka recorded his second career sack, the first sack allowed by the Blue Devils this season. Bryce Gallagher finished the game with 13 total tackles, his 12th career game with double digit tackles.

The Northwestern defense stuffed Duke on fourth-and-one in the first quarter, forcing its third turnover on downs in its last two games.

Game Notes

• Duke outgained Northwestern 487-267 in the contest.
• Northwestern’s 14 points are the most allowed by Duke’s defense this season.
• Ben Bryant’s touchdown pass and Brendan Sullivan’s touchdown rush marked the second straight game in which multiple Northwestern quarterbacks have accounted for touchdowns (Jack Lauschrush and Ben Bryantrush vs. UTEP).
• Riley Leonard led the Blue Devils passing attack, completing 15 of his 20 attempts for 219 yards.
Jalon Calhoun was Duke’s leading receiver with 112 yards.

Up Next

Northwestern returns home to Ryan Field on Saturday for its Big Ten home opener against Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. on BTN.