NIU Opens Season at Iowa Saturday

GO HUSKIES Jimmie Ward
Jimmie Ward

Aug 26, 2013

GAME 1 - Northern Illinois (0-0) at Iowa (0-0)
Aug. 31, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. | BTN | Iowa City, Iowa | Kinnick Stadium | 70,585
BTN (Alternate) | WSCR 670 AM | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM | WTJK 1380 AM

2013 Weekly Football Release


##Northern Illinois enters its 112th season of college football with a 2:30 p.m. contest versus the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Saturday, August 31st. NIU opens the season versus Iowa for the second straight season and the third time in the last seven years.
##NIU has won 21 of its last 23 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2011. Northern Illinois finished the 2011 season on a nine-game winning streak and after losing to Iowa in the 2012 season opener at Soldier Field in Chicago (18-17), the Huskies reeled off 12 straight wins before falling to Florida State in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl.

##NIU received votes worth 16 points in the 2013 Associated Press Preseason Poll and earned 19 points from the coaches in the USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll. The totals put NIU 35th on the AP listing and tied for 37th in the coaches' poll.

##Northern Illinois enters the 2013 season with the longest conference winning streak (17 games) and the longest on-campus home winning streak (21 games) in the nation.

##Rod Carey begins his first full season on the sidelines as NIU's head coach after making his debut in the Discover Orange Bowl. Carey served as NIU's offensive coordinator over the last 12 games of 2012 and as offensive line coach for the past two seasons.

##Northern Illinois has just three wins in 39 games versus Big Ten teams all-time, but the Huskies have won two of their last six meetings versus league teams. NIU claimed wins at Minnesota (2010) and Purdue (2009) under Jerry Kill.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois17
September 1, 2012
Chicago, Ill. (Soldier Field)
Huskies Edged By Hawkeyes at Soldier Field
Iowa scored its only touchdown of the game on a 23-yard run by Damon Bullock with 2:15 to play, lifting the Hawkeyes to an 18-17 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday in front of a crowd of 52,117 at Soldier Field.

2012 Record/MAC Record/Finish: 12-2/8-0/1st West
2012 Final Ranking: 22 (AP); 24 (USA Today Coaches)
Head Coach: Rod Carey
Record at NIU & Career Record/Years: 0-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 535-465-51
Last Bowl Game: 2013 Discover Orange Bowl (Florida State 31, NIU 10)
Consecutive Bowl Games: 5
MAC Championship Games: 4 (last, 2012, 44-37 W 2OT)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 54/16
Starters Returning: 16 (8 offense, 5 defense, 3 specialists)
Starters Lost: 11 (3 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialists)

Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Founded: 1895
Enrollment: 23,850
Affiliation: NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision
Conference: Mid-American (West Division)
Colors: Cardinal and Black
Stadium: Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium
Surface/Capacity: FieldTurf /24,000
President: Dr. Douglas D. Baker
Assoc. VP/Athletic Director: Sean Frazier
Alma Mater, Year: Alabama `92
Ticket Information: 815-752-6800

Twitter: @NIUAthletics, @Lynchfor6, @PrideinthePack, @NIUscores
Facebook: NIU Huskies, Northern Illinois Football


2012 Record: 4-8
Big Ten Record/Finish: 2-6/6th Legends
Head Coach (Alma Mater/Year): Kirk Ferentz (UConn/1978)
Record at Iowa/Years: 100-74/15th
Career Record/Years: 112-95/18th
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Enrollment: 31,498
Conference: Big Ten (Legends Division)
Colors: Black and Gold
Stadium: Kinnick Stadium
Surface/Capacity: FieldTurf /70,585
President: Sally Mason
Athletic Director: Gary Barta
Athletics Website:
Twitter: @TheIowaHawkeyes;
Ticket Information: 1-800 424-2957


Overall: Iowa leads 8-0
In Chicago: Iowa leads 2-0
At Iowa City: Iowa leads 6-0
Streak: Iowa, 8
Last Meeting: 9/1/12: Iowa 18, NIU 17 (N)
First Meeting: 9/20/85: Iowa 48, NIU 20 (A)

Rod Carey

Rod Carey, who spent the last two seasons on the coaching staff of the most successful teams ever at Northern Illinois, was named the 22nd head football coach in school history on Dec. 2, 2012. The 41-year old was promoted after serving as NIU's offensive coordinator during most of the 2012 season.

On the same day Carey was introduced as the new head coach, Northern Illinois made history as the first Mid-American Conference team invited to play in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl game. Carey coached the Huskies in the bowl game, a 31-10 loss to Florida State. He spent his first two seasons at NIU helping guide two of the most prolific offenses in school history as the Huskies won back-to-back MAC championships and 11-or-more games each year. In 2012 Carey added run game coordinator to his duties as offensive line coach. Already faced with replacing five starters on the offensive line Carey assumed offensive coordinator duties after the first game of the year. In his first season at NIU, Carey mentored two All-Americans and three all-conference selections. Center Scott Wedige and left tackle Trevor Olson were named All-Americans by and Phil Steele's magazine, respectively. A three-year starter at center for Indiana, Carey served as a team captain and won IU's Corby Davis Outstanding Offensive Player Award as a senior, playing for former Northern Illinois head coach Bill Mallory. He earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana in 1994. Carey joined the Huskies after three seasons as the offensive line coach at the University of North Dakota. His line paved the way for UND 1,000-yard rusher Josh Murray (1,146 yards) in 2008 and for the No. 2 running back in the Great West Conference a year later. Five of Carey's offensive linemen earned GWC all-conference honors in his last three seasons. Prior to going to North Dakota, Carey spent the 2007 season as the offensive line coach at Illinois State. From 2000-06, Carey coached at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. His offensive units averaged nearly 400 yards per game during his seven seasons and set 14 records, including the all-time conference rushing record. In all, Carey coached 26 all-conference selections and seven All-Americans during his time at UW-Stout. A native of Wayzata, Minn., Carey began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Minnesota (1998-99) where he helped the Gophers to their first bowl game in over a decade with a trip to the 1999 Sun Bowl. Prior to UM, he spent four seasons in the high school ranks at his alma mater, Wayzata (Minn.) High School, from 1994-97.


The Redesigned -- Northern Illinois Athletics will unveil its redesigned website at, on August 29 -- The new site features a larger video player, a social media hub on the front page of the site, and easy-to-find links to tickets, promotions and fan information. -- Fans can connect with new Assoc. VP and Director of Athletics Sean Frazier in "Frazier's Corner" and link to GameDay Central.

Watch the Season Opener on BTNM -- The Big Ten Network will air the NIU-Iowa game either on its primary channel or on one of several BTN alternate channels available on game day. Check your local listing for BTN channels offered by your cable or satellite provider. -- For more questions, go to, click About and go to the GameFinder and enter your zip code. -- Three former Hawkeye football players will call the Iowa game for BTN with Paul Burmeister on play-by-play, Chuck Long as the color analyst and Danan Hughes on the sidelines.

Huskies-Hawkeyes on Radio -- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 2 p.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff. -- NIU network affiliates WLBK 1360 AM (DeKalb) and 98.9 FM, WSCR 670 AM (Chicago), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.). -- Bill Baker is in his 33rd season as the play-by-play voice of the Huskies and is joined by 28-year color analyst -- Mark Lindo and Andy Garcia, who begins his first season on the sidelines. -- The game can also be heard online via NIUTube

NIU Weekly Radio Show -- NIU's weekly 30-minute show on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago highlights the best of Huskie Athletics. -- For the first two weeks of the year, the show will air Friday night at 10:30 p.m. CT following White Sox coverage. -- Hosted by Andy Garcia and NIU Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics Sean Frazier -- Features a weekly interview with football head coach Rod Carey, other NIU head coaches and the latest Huskie news.

NIUTube -- Hear all NIU live radio broadcasts, including football and basketball games and NIU radio shows. -- Watch live Huskie games and see weekly and post-game press conferences, video features and special events. -- Cost is $6.95/month or $49.95/year -- Go to


ELITE COMPANY: Northern Illinois is one of just four NCAA FBS teams to win 11-or-more games in each of the last three seasons. Only two teams - NIU and Stanford - have won 11-or-more games under different head coaches. (See chart in PDF) NIU-IOWA: Northern Illinois is 0-8 all-time versus Iowa, including a 0-6 mark at Kinnick Stadium. NIU has played the Hawkeyes more times than any other Big Ten team except Wisconsin. The last two meetings between NIU and Iowa were played at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Huskies have not played at Kinnick Stadium since 2006.

IN SEARCH OF...: The Huskies have not won a season opener played on the road since 1983. NIU has dropped the last 14 season openers that were played on the road. The last time Northern Illinois won on the road in the season opener was in 1983, when the Huskies defeated Kansas 37-34. The Huskies' last season opening win came at home in 2011 versus Army. As a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) program, NIU is 15-29 in season-opening games.

FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: Saturday's game marks Rod Carey's first regular season game as head coach, but two men above him on the NIU administrative ladder also will see their first games as members of the Huskie "Family." New President Dr. Doug Baker began his tenure on campus July 1st. Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean Frazier came on board one month later but visited Kinnick Stadium many times as deputy athletic director at Wisconsin.

13 IN `13: The Huskies return 13 starters on offense and defense off the 2012 MAC Champion and Orange Bowl team. Eight starters return on offense, including all five starters on the offensive line, quarterback Jordan Lynch, tight end Luke Eakes and tailback Akeem Daniels. Defensively, NIU returns three players in the secondary, led by All-MAC safety Jimmie Ward, defensive tackle Ken Bishop and linebacker Jamaal Bass.

HITTING THE ROAD: Northern Illinois will play four of its first five games of the season on the road and has just five home games in 2013. A pair of road games sandwiching an open date in the first three weeks of the year means NIU will not make its home debut until Sept. 21. Only five other Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams play their home opener on Sept. 21 or later and only one - Texas-San Antonio - has a later home opener.

THE I'S HAVE IT: Each of the Huskies' 2013 non-conference opponents hails from the four states that begin with the letter I. Following the opener versus Iowa, Northern Illinois will play at Idaho (Sept. 14) and return home to face Eastern Illinois (Sept. 21). NIU closes out the non-conference slate versus Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana.

NATIVE SON: While the Huskies do not have any players from Iowa on the roster, Huskie defensive coordinator Jay Niemann, a native of Avoca, Iowa, played at Iowa State (1979-82) and coached in Iowa from 1989-2007 at Drake (1989-96), Northern Iowa (1997-2001) and Simpson (2002-07). He was the head coach at Simpson and compiled a 32-29 record in six seasons. In addition to Niemann, NIU Operations graduate assistant Aaron Christner was a member of the football staff at Iowa prior to coming to Northern Illinois.

TRAINING GROUND: There are now five current FBS head coaches who previously coached at Northern Illinois as either an assistant or head coach. The two most obvious names are Minnesota's Jerry Kill and N.C. State's Dave Doeren. Kill served as the Huskies' head coach from 2008-10, while Doeren coached the 2011 and `12 Huskies. New Syracuse head coach Scott Schaefer spent eight seasons (1996-2003) at NIU as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach under Joe Novak. New Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck played at Northern Illinois (2000-03) and then returned to coach wide receivers from 2007-09, while Georgia State head coach Trent Miles spent the 1991-94 campaigns with the Huskies as wide receivers coach.

GRADS: The Northern Illinois roster includes five players who have already earned their undergraduate degrees. Offensive lineman Matt Krempel earned his degree in health sciences (pre-physical therapy) in Spring of 2012 and is well on his way to a graduate degree. Fellow offensive lineman Jared Volk and safety Dominique Ware graduated from the NIU College of Business in May 2013, while offensive lineman Matt Battaglia (history) and quarterback Jordan Lynch (kinesiology/exercise science) completed their degrees this past summer.

EVERY YEAR THEY'RE SHUFFLING: Several Huskie veterans will wear new numbers this season, including three members of the defensive secondary. Senior cornerback Jhony Faustin made the switch from 28 to 5, while safety Dechane Durante laid claim to the No. 1 previously worn by receiver Martel Moore. With Durante's old number 21 now available, sophomore Marlon Moore abandoned number 30 to take 21. Linebacker Michael Santacaterina, meanwhile, moved from No. 52 to No. 7 and wide receiver Juwan Brescacin, who wore No. 82 a year ago, now sports No. 11. Finally, Matt Williams changed his number and his position. After wearing No. 12 as the Huskies' third-string quarterback last season, the redshirt freshman is now playing wide receiver and wearing No. 8.

LYNCH FOR 6: After dipping its toe in the Heisman campaign waters a year ago with a late e-mail and social media push, Northern Illinois embarked on an aggressive effort to get the word out about its dual threat quarterback this offseason. In June, a revamped website, complete with video, quotes, notes and stats, launched along with a re-branded Facebook page and new @LynchFor6 Twitter feed. Every day, a new fact about Lynch is tweeted out with the hashtag #LynchLines. In late July, the Huskies mailed "Lunch with Lynch" boxes to approximately 600 Heisman voters, complete with reporter's notepad and a postcard urging the reporters to follow Lynch's exploits this season.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: Entering the season opener a year ago, Jordan Lynch was an unknown quantity at quarterback. He had never started a game, had thrown 26 career passes for 179 yards and exactly two touchdowns. He was constantly asked how he would replace one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history, Chandler Harnish. In 2013, Lynch enters the season as the NCAA record holder for rushing yards by a quarterback in season (1,815) and the owner of 14 NIU school records. Only one player gained more yards of total offense than Lynch a year ago... that was Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. For (much) more on Lynch, see pages 7-9 of this release.

IN A RUSH: Jordan Lynch added to Northern Illinois' legacy as a rushing team by breaking the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback in 2012, and became the second NIU quarterback in as many years to lead the team in rushing. Northern Illinois has had a player rush for 1,000 yards or more in 13 of the last 14 seasons dating back to 1999. Lynch joined famed Huskie running backs Thomas Hammock, Michael Turner, Garrett Wolfe and Chad Spann on the list. His 1,815 rushing yardage total ranks as the third-highest total in the last 14 years, topped only by Wolfe (1,928 in 2006) and Turner (1,915 in 2002).

NATION'S BEST: Northern Illinois owns the longest on-campus home winning streak in the country with 21 straight wins at Huskie Stadium dating back to 2009, including six last year. The Huskies kept the streak alive with six wins at home in 2012 and have not lost a game in DeKalb since Sept. 26, 2009, when Idaho (next week's Huskie opponent) claimed a 34-31 win. Northern Illinois also has won 16 straight MAC home games, dating to a 33-30 overtime loss to Central Michigan on Nov. 12, 2008.

DEFENDING CHAMPS: After waiting 28 years to win its second Mid-American Conference title in 2011, the Huskies wasted no time earning MAC Championship No. 3 with a 44-37 victory in double overtime over No. 17 and 11-1 Kent State on Nov. 30, 2012 at Ford Field in Detroit. NIU became the first MAC team to repeat as league champs since Central Michigan in 2006 and 2007. Northern Illinois, which has played in the last three MAC Championship games, begins the 2013 defense of its title on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Kent State in a rematch of the 2012 championship game.

SENIOR CLASS: The Huskies' 2013 roster includes 17 seniors and 16 are listed on the depth chart entering the Iowa game with 10 slated to start. Although NIU graduated four players off its defensive line a year ago, the 2013 group features six seniors, including projected starters George Rainey, Ken Bishop and Joe Windsor. Add Stephen O'Neal, Anthony Wells and Zach Anderson and the senior defensive line group is deep. The other large concentration of seniors is at defensive back where Jimmie Ward, Jhony Faustin, Dominique Ware and Sean Evans anchor the Huskies' secondary. Northern Illinois has three seniors on the offensive line in Matt Krempel, Jared Volk and Matt Battaglia, who was honored as a senior last year but was forced to redshirt due to injury and has returned for his final season. Quarterback Jordan Lynch and kicker Mathew Sims, a three-year starter, round out the list of seniors on the depth chart. Senior Nate McNeal is not on the depth chart but is expected to see action on several of the Huskie special teams.

MAC PRESEASON POLL: Northern Illinois is the preseason favorite to win the Mid-American Conference West Division by league media, and the Huskies were also the preseason choice to win the MAC. NIU tallied 138 points and 16 first-place votes to finish ahead of Toledo, which earned five first-place votes and 122 points. Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan rounded out the MAC West poll. In the east, Ohio was the choice with 15 first-place votes, followed by Bowling Green, Kent State, Buffalo, Miami (Ohio), Akron and UMass.

NEXT: Northern Illinois enjoys a rare open date before traveling to Idaho for a Sept. 14 game versus the Vandals.



Frazier Corner Promotions Follow The Huskies Fan Guide Recruits Shop