Duke and Northwestern aren’t traditional college football powers, but as the tandem of 2-0 teams get set to face off Saturday in Durham, North Carolina, they’re already exchanging some serious bulletin-board fodder.
After Northwestern upended Eastern Illinois 41-0 last week, Wildcats defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo offered a concise battle plan for this week’s game against Duke.
"We expect to have a shutout next week,” he told the Chicago Tribune, referring to the upcoming matchup with the Blue Devils.
That type of enthusiasm didn’t sit particularly well with Duke running back Shaun Wilson, who posted the quote on his Twitter account and told Odenigbo to be prepared to back up his prediction.
Usually don't get into all the rahrah and the hype but buddy tried us.— shaun wilson (@To_Dope1) September 14, 2015
That's a gamble, mean what you say and say what you mean.— shaun wilson (@To_Dope1) September 14, 2015
So far this season, Northwestern has allowed just six points, while Duke has averaged 46 in its first two contests.
While shutouts were once routine for the Blue Devils — it happened three times in September of 2006 alone — they’ve been held scoreless just once under head coach David Cutcliffe (vs. Georgia Tech in 2008).
Northwestern, on the other hand, had held an opponent scoreless just once in the past decade prior to last week’s win over Eastern Illinois.
The Blue Devils and Wildcats haven’t played since 2008, when Northwestern won 24-20.