The Duke Blue Devils (6-6) will face the Northern Illinois Huskies (8-4) in this year’s edition of the Quick Lane Bowl.
Below, we’ll break down all of the key viewing and streaming details for the game and preview the matchup between the teams.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 5:15 p.m.
- Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI.
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: Watch ESPN, Watch ESPN apps
- Online: CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE IN HD
Odds: Duke (-2.5), per Oddsshark.com.
Statistically, Duke and Northern Illinois are fairly similar. Northern Illinois has the marginally better offensive numbers, scoring more points (30.2 PPG to 25.8 PPG for Duke) and accumulating more yards (384.3 YPG to 378.1 YPG) per contest.
Both teams give up 20.8 points per game, meanwhile, with the Huskies giving up slightly less yards per game (328 to 335.4). Duke’s defense featured two first-team selections on the Associated Press All-ACC team, however—linebacker Joe Giles-Harris and cornerback Mark Gilbert.
For Northern Illinois, Sutton Smith was a terror on the edge recording 14 sacks and earning MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Both offenses go as far as their running games take them. Duke rushed for 220.7 yards per game in wins and just 115.2 yards in losses, while Northern Illinois went for 200.8 rushing yards in wins and 160.3 yards in losses.
Duke has leaned on the running back duo of Shaun Wilson (743 yards, five touchdowns) and Brittain Brown (660 rushing yards, six touchdowns), while quarterback Daniel Jones added 432 yards on the ground and six scores.
Northern Illinois spreads the carries around a bit more liberally, though running back Jordan Huff (740 rushing yards, four touchdowns) and quarterback Marcus Childers (454 rushing yards, five touchdowns) led the way.
Huff, however, won’t be able to play due to injury, and the same goes for tight end Shane Wimann. That’s a major blow for the Huskies, though Tommy Mister, Marcus Jones and Tre Harbison are expected to share the carries in the running game.
“This is going to be an enormous challenge for us, make no doubt about it,” NIU head coach Rod Carey acknowledged, per Josh Tolentino of the Herald-News. “This is a team that is well-coached, is big, is strong, is athletic. They have unbelievable skill.”
It’s been a season of ups and downs for the Blue Devils. The team started 4-0 before losing six straight contests, leaving them in danger of missing a bowl game. Duke won its last two contests, however, stealing back bowl eligibility in its final game.
Northern Illinois sandwiched an excellent 4-0 run in October that put them atop the West Division in the MAC with a 2-2 record in both September and November. Those two November losses cost them a shot at reaching the MAC title game.
“We’re obviously happy about being in a bowl game,” Carey noted, per the Chicago Tribune. “Last year we didn’t have a chance. … I know we’re facing a well-coached team in Duke and we’ll make it a great experience.”