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Leonard runs for two touchdowns to lead No. 21 Duke over Northwestern

Duke football Riley Leonard - The Canadian Press

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Riley Leonard ran for two touchdowns and threw for 219 yards to lead No. 21 Duke to a 38-14 win over Northwestern on Saturday.

Jordan Waters also ran for two touchdowns and Jalon Calhoun caught five passes for 112 yards as the Blue Devils (3—0, 1--0 ACC) opened the season with three straight wins for the second year in a row under coach Mike Elko.

Leonard rushed for 97 yards and completed 15 of 20 passes in just over three quarters.

Northwestern quarterback Ben Bryant was 17-for-34 for 123 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Wildcats (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten) had 267 yards of total offense, with 90 of those in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils put together 80- and 94-yard touchdown drives in the third quarter, both ending on Leonard’s short runs. Duke, which didn't punted until the fourth quarter, had 268 rushing yards.

Waters had the game’s first two touchdowns on runs of 24 and 2 yards. It was 17-0 after Todd Pelino’s 35-yard field goal less than 21 minutes into the game.

Northwestern scored on A.J. Henning’s 14-yard pass from Bryant with :34 to play in the first half, pulling within 17-7.

Duke hadn’t allowed a second-half point this season until Northwestern’s late touchdown.


Northwestern has lost 13 consecutive true road games. ... Leonard completed all 12 of his passes a week earlier against Lafayette, but his first toss of the Northwestern game was incomplete. His streak of completions was at 15 passes because he connected on his last three throws in the Labor Day upset of Clemson.


Northwestern: The Wildcats were in danger of failing to reach a double-digit point total for the second time this season until backup quarterback Brendan Sullivan’s 10-yard run with 1:27 remaining. It’s not like penalties were a problem because Northwestern wasn’t hit with a flag until the fourth quarter.

Duke: The Blue Devils were versatile on offense, rolling up more than 200 yards on the ground and in the air. They also avoided any fourth-quarter drama and that has been a nice trend in the first few weeks of the season.


Duke should hold steady in the rankings after three home victories. The closest margin was 28-7 over Clemson in the opener.


Northwestern: Home Saturday vs. Minnesota

Duke: Saturday at Connecticut


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