College Football
Duke vs Northern Illinois
When: 5:15 PM ET, Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan


1. Northern Illinois and Duke, teams that had lengthy bowl streaks interrupted last season, will each bring a standout defender and stingy defense to the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. The Huskies, who had a streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances snapped last season, are led by sophomore defensive end Sutton Smith, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first Huskie since 1993 to be named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America first team. Sophomore linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, who was a first team All-ACC and second team All-American pick after leading the Blue Devils in tackles (117) and tackles for loss (15), helped Duke return to a bowl game for the fifth time in six years after a 17-year absence.

2. Smith leads FBS in sacks (14), tackles for loss (28.5), pressures (73) and defensive touchdowns (two) - all school records - and is 3.5 tackles for loss away from the NCAA single-season record of 32 set by Western Michigan's Jason Babin in 2003. With Sutton wreaking havoc in the backfield, the Huskies enter ranked in the top 25 in FBS in nine defensive categories, including first in tackles for loss (106), second in sacks (41), 11th in rushing defense (112.3 yards per game) and 18th in total defense (328 yards per game). The 6-2, 230 pound Giles, who ranks third in the ACC and tied for 20th in the nation in tackles per game (9.8), heads a unit that ranked first in the ACC in opponent completion percentage (50.3), second in pass defense (174.8 yards per game) and third in interceptions (15), with four returned for touchdowns.

3. Northern Illinois finished in a tie for second place in the West Division of the MAC with its signature victory a 21-17 decision at Big Ten-member Nebraska. The Huskies are no strangers to Detroit and Ford Field, playing here in six consecutive MAC championship games from 2010-15, winning three times. Duke won its first four games this season by a combined 101 points, dropped its next six contests before rebounding with consecutive wins to close out the regular season, including a 31-23 triumph over Wake Forest on Nov. 25 behind a career-high 346 passing yards and three total touchdowns from Daniel Jones.

TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Duke -5

ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS (8-4, 6-2 MAC): Quarterback Marcus Childers, the MAC Freshman of the Year, took over the reins in early October after Ryan Graham suffered an elbow injury in Week 1 and Daniel Santacaterina battled turnover issues. Childers completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 1,440 yards with 15 touchdowns against five interceptions and picked up an additional 454 rushing yards with five more TDs. Senior Jordan Huff (740 yards in nine games, 5.8 per carry), is the main threat in the run game while Childers has five receivers that caught between 28 and 39 passes, but four of the five averaged less than 12 yards per catch.

ABOUT DUKE (6-6, 3-5 ACC): Prior to the big outing against the Demon Deacons, Jones (2,439 passing yards, 12 TDs; 432 rushing yards, six TDs) had passed for more than 200 yards only twice in his seven previous games, a big reason why the Blue Devils ranked last in the ACC in passer efficiency rating (110.3) and 12th in scoring offense (25.8 points per game). Senior Shaun Wilson (743 yards, five TDs) and freshman Brittain Brown (660, six) will split carries and junior wideout T.J. Rahming (61 receptions, 733 yards, one TD) will be Jones’ main target downfield. Duke sophomore kicker Austin Parker, who made 17-of-21 field goal attempts and averaged 42.1 yards per punt, was dismissed from the program for violation of university academic policy.

PREDICTION: Duke 21, Northern Illinois 16

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Duke 6-6 W2 25.8 20.8 4-3 2-3 5-5 0-0 3-5
Northern Illinois 8-4 L1 30.2 20.8 5-1 3-3 0-1 0-0 6-2
Last Meeting
Duke Northern Illinois
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Duke N/A
Northern Illinois N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Duke N/A
Northern Illinois N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Duke N/A
Northern Illinois N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Duke N/A
Northern Illinois N/A
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Duke D. Jones 55.7 2439 12 11
Northern Illinois M. Childers 57.3 1445 15 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Duke S. Wilson 146 743 5.1 5
Northern Illinois J. Huff 127 740 5.8 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Duke T. Rahming 61 733 12.0 1
Northern Illinois S. Tears 39 461 11.8 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Duke S. Wilson 8
Northern Illinois S. Wimann 7
Quickchart Matchup
Duke Duke Off vs  Northern Illinois Northern Illinois Def
Duke 378.4 yards
Northern Illinois 328.4 yards
Duke 4.1 yards/rush
Northern Illinois 2.8 yards/rush
Duke 5.9 yards/attempt
Northern Illinois 6.7 yards/attempt
Northern Illinois Northern Illinois Off vs  Duke Duke Def
Northern Illinois 388.1 yards
Duke 338.8 yards
Northern Illinois 4.3 yards/rush
Duke 4.2 yards/rush
Northern Illinois 6.3 yards/attempt
Duke 7 yards/attempt