North­west­ern over DUKE by 7

Playbook Football (Midweek Alert) - - 2-minute Handicap -

A 6-year hia­tus that saw these non-con­fer­ence braini­acs meet 10 times on the grid­iron be­tween 1996 to 2008 (the best we could fig­ure is that a food fight be­tween the chess clubs broke out in the cafe­te­ria and caused bad blood) re­newed in 2015 and the Wild­cats picked up right where they left off, win­ning each of the last two con­tests to im­prove to 10-2 SU in this matchup over that span. And though the Pur­ple Gang wasn’t overly im­pres­sive in last week’s opener (trailed Ne­vada at home in the 4th quar­ter be­fore ral­ly­ing for a 31-20 win), we’re not at a stale­mate to­day in Durham. Not with 17 starters re­turn­ing to Evanston and the series host just 3-9 ATS since 1996. Sure, the Dukies opened with their oblig­a­tory rout of NC Cen­tral (60-7 this sea­son, 49-6 last year and 55-0 in 2015). But remember: they lost SU as fa­vorites in games fol­low­ing those Ea­gles’ bash­ings each of the past two sea­sons, in­clud­ing 19-10 to the Wild­cats on this field two years ago. Thus, that makes this a case of déjà vu (that’s French for ‘al­ready seen’ for our state school grad­u­ates). Or in other words, checkmate.

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