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X-Factor: Duke football will need Jordan Moore to lead it past Northwestern's secondary

<p>Moore hauled in six receptions for 77 yards in Duke's home-opener against Temple.</p>

Moore hauled in six receptions for 77 yards in Duke's home-opener against Temple.

After a promising performance against Temple, the Blue Devils look to build on their 30-0 shutout victory in Week 2. Before Duke takes the field Saturday afternoon against Northwestern, the Blue Zone gives you a player to watch on both sidelines:

Duke: Jordan Moore 

Going into fall camp, sophomore quarterback Jordan Moore did not know where he would be playing. Fellow sophomore Riley Leonard won the starting job, but new head coach Mike Elko knew that Moore's athletic abilities were too strong to bench. Against Temple, he transitioned to a wideout role, and simply put, the Sykesville, Md., native thrived. 

Moore hauled in six receptions for 77 yards, including a touchdown. During the first drive of the game, the Loyola Blakefield product caught a pass on his wheel route and forced a missed tackle on his way to a 52-yard gain. Later that half, he caught a pass from a crossing route, ending up in the end zone for six. Moore will have his work cut out for him this week. Northwestern boasts a secondary that held Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson to two interceptions, one passing touchdown and a 60% completion rate. In order for the Blue Devils to pull off the upset, Moore will need to continue to showcase this elite athleticism for the Blue Devils.  

Northwestern: Defensive back Cameron Mitchell 

Speaking of Northwestern’s secondary, junior defensive back Cameron Mitchell has the potential to be Northwestern’s best player on both sides of the ball. In the Wildcats' thrilling win against Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland, Mitchell combined for six tackles and intercepted Thompson. Not only that, but the interception came at a crucial time with Northwestern trailing by four and 12:24 remaining in the game. Following the play, Northwestern would find a way into the end zone on its drive to take the lead.  

It's not out of the question to see him matched up against Moore or senior receiver Jalon Calhoun, who had 90 yards against Temple, come Saturday. Although there were no true negatives from Duke’s offensive display last week, their running game looked flawed and may be exposed against a more physical defensive front. Mitchell will need to play a huge role in keeping the ball out of Duke’s playmakers’ hands in order to get to 2-0. 

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