At Huskie Stadium this afternoon unbeaten and 23rd ranked Northern Illinois (7-0) will look to extend to their 24th consecutive home and 21st straight MAC win when they face Eastern Michigan (1-6). The Huskies have not lost since at home in over 4 years and are putting up numbers we are used to seeing most recently on offense which has been paying dividends down the stretch in hopes of making another BCS appearance.
Led by Jordan Lynch (138/225 1488 14 TD 5 INT) who loves to work methodically also leads the nation on the ground (138-932 6.8 7 TD) behind a tough offensive line. Lynch also has a two headed tandem receiving core with Da'ron Brown (30-442 5 TD) showcasing blazing speed in the open field along with Tommylee Lewis (50-400 3 TD) blowing by vulnerable opposing secondaries. Fortunately for Lynch, in the backfield Cameron Stingly (133-726 5.5 7 TD) provides another ground game weapon for a team that can gain plenty of yards in the blink of an eye catching opposing defenses off guard. NIU is 7th in the country in total offense averaging nearly 40 points per game making it tough for defenses especially within the MAC figure you out with so many intangible options. Credit is due to Jared Volk and Aidan Conlon who have more than done their job protecting Lynch and creating opportunities in creating opportunities in the running game.
To say Eastern Michigan's defense is in for a long afternoon is quite the understatement as they've yielded about 50 points and 524 total yards per contest over their last 5 games. The Eagles have lost six straight since a 34-24 season-opening win over Howard. EMU has never defeated a Top 25 team, and they are still dealing the loss of receiver Demarius Reed. Junior QB Tyler Benz (121/191 1403 8 TD 9 INT) does have balance in the receiving core with Tyresse Russell (31-366 2 TD) and Dustin Creel (25-324 3 TD) getting the most attention. On the ground Bronson Hill (132-752 5.7 4 TD) carries most of the load and gained 257 yards on just 23 carries (11.2) with a score in a 56-28 loss to Ohio in week 8. They also have two other backs, Darius Jackson and Ryan Brumfield, that have 200 yards and 2 touchdowns each. However, the Eagles have turned the ball over 14 times and given up 20 sacks. NIU has allowed only 4 sacks all season long. The Huskies are 10th in the MAC in total defense, allowing an average 443.9 yards per game, however they're tops against the run, giving up just 143.6 yards per game.
Northern Illinois is in familiar territory as they are challenging for the MAC West crown with Ball State. NIU swamped the Chippewas 38-17 in week 8 behind a 24-3 second half run and nearly 600 yards of offense with a record setting performance from Jordan Lynch who rambled for 313 yards with three trips to the end zone. Cameron Stingily added 70 yards on 14 totes and Lynch was an efficient 20-30 for 155 yards with a touchdown and interception. With all the advantages NIU holds over EMU, the Huskies will storm out to a huge lead by halftime and cruise with a convincing victory. Best of luck however you play!
YTD 8-2 .800