Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Last season, Northwestern fell to Duke in a game so statistically lopsided that it was hard to fathom how the Wildcats could lose.
Northwestern led the Blue Devils in first downs (25-15), rushing yards (138-63), total yards (506-309), time of possession (33:34-26:26) and a host of other categories. But the Wildcats repeatedly beat themselves with penalties, couldn't execute in the red zone (2 of 5) and ultimately lost, 20-14.
Tonight's game in Durham, N.C., was a near replica, and once again, the team that dominated the game lost. Duke had twice as many first downs (28-14), held a sizable edge in total yards (472-328) and trounced the Wildcats in possession time (39:15-20:45). But quarterback Thaddeus Lewis couldn't make a play in the clutch and Northwestern escaped with a 24-20 win.
Last year's loss kept Northwestern out of a bowl. The Wildcats need a lot of improvement from quarterback C.J. Bacher and others, but Saturday night's unfathomable win could be the difference in December.
Minnesota is looking very impressive at Bowling Green, which knocked off Pitt last week. A big night for quarterback Adam Weber and the Gophers' defense, which has forced four turnovers.
Indiana continued to roll down easy street, pounding Murray State, 45-3. The schedule has been a joke so far, but quarterback Kellen Lewis looked sharp and the running backs, particularly Marcus Thigpen, got involved. That's an excellent sign for Bill Lynch's team.