NIU Prepares for Idaho

GO HUSKIES Tommylee Lewis
Tommylee Lewis

Sept. 10, 2013

2013 Weekly Football Release Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 2 - Northern Illinois (1-0) at Idaho (0-2)
Sept. 14, 2013 | 4 p.m. | Moscow, Idaho | Kibbie Dome | 16,000
Radio: WYLL 1160 AM (Chicago) | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM (DeKalb) | NIUTube


^Northern Illinois enjoyed a rare September open date on Sept. 7 before traveling to Moscow, Idaho for a Sept. 14 match-up versus the Idaho Vandals.

^NIU has won 22 of its last 25 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 and is 35-8 since the start of the 2010 season.

^Kicker Mathew Sims made a 36-yard field goal with four seconds on the clock to give NIU a 30-27 win over Iowa Aug. 31 in Iowa City. Sims' three came after a Jimmie Wardinterception gave the Huskies the ball at the Iowa 30 with 1:17 to play.

^NIU received votes worth 21 points in this week's Associated Press Poll, up from 16 in the preseason, and earned 27 points from the coaches in the USA Today Coaches' Weekly Poll, up from 19 in the preseason. The totals put NIU 30th in both polls for the second consecutive week.

^Northern Illinois owns the longest conference winning streak (17 games) and the longest on-campus home winning streak (21 games) in the nation. The Huskies have also won nine straight true "road" games (since Oct. 1, 2011).

^Idaho was the last team to beat Northern Illinois at Huskie Stadium. The Vandals claimed a 34-31 win over the Huskies on Sept. 26, 2009. NIU has won 21 straight games in its home stadium, the longest such streak in the country.

^Rod Carey is 1-1 in his first season as NIU's head coach after making his debut in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. Carey served as NIU's offensive coordinator in the last 12 games of 2012 and as offensive line coach for the past two seasons.

^Northern Illinois' victory over Iowa gave the Huskies their third win in the last seven tries versus a Big Ten Conference team and was NIU's first win over Iowa in school history.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois31
September 26, 2009
DeKalb, Ill.
Huskies' Comeback Falls Short in 34-31 Loss to Idaho
The Huskies staged a furious comeback in the final 11 minutes of the game, but allowed visiting Idaho (3-1) to pile up 229 rushing yards, en route to a 34-31 win over the Northern Illinois football team (2-2) at Huskie Stadium Saturday afternoon.

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: 1-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 536-465-51
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


2013 Record: 0-2
2012 Record: 1-11
Head Coach (Alma Mater/Year): Paul Petrino (Carroll/1989)
Record at Idaho/Years: 0-2/1st
Career Record/Years: 0-2/1st
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Enrollment: 11,707
Conference: Independent
Colors: Silver and Vandal Gold
Stadium: Kibbie Dome
Surface/Capacity: RealGrass Pro /16,000
President: Don Burnett (interim)
Athletic Director: Dr. Rob Spear
Athletics Website:
Twitter: @Idaho_Vandals
Ticket Information: 1-888-884-3246


NIU-IDAHO SERIES HISTORYOverall: Series Tied 3-3 In DeKalb: NIU leads 2-1 In Moscow: Idaho leads 2-1 Streak: Idaho, 1 Last Meeting: 9/26/09: Idaho 34, NIU 31 (H) First Meeting: 9/20/69: NIU 47, Idaho 30 (H)

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 unveiled 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 Idaho Game Online
-- The University of Idaho will stream the NIU-Idaho game through its VandalsXtra player at
-- Purchase of a $9.95 monthly subscription is required.
-- For more information and the link to the VandalsXtra site, go to GameDay Central at

Huskies-Vandals on Radio
-- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff.
-- NIU network affiliates that will carry the Idaho game are WLBK 1360 AM (DeKalb) and 98.9 FM, WYLL AM 1160 (Chicago).
-- Bill Baker is in his 34th 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, accessible through

NIU Weekly Radio Show
-- NIU's weekly 30-minute show on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago highlights the best of Huskie Athletics.
-- The show airs on WSCR AM 670 The Score in Chicago on Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m.
-- WLBK 1360 AM/98.9 FM in DeKalb will carry the show at 6:30 p.m. Friday nights.
-- 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.

-- 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


#NIU-IDAHO: NIU and Idaho have split six previous meetings with each team winning two of three at home. The home teams have lost the last two games in the series with Idaho defeating NIU 34-31 at Huskie Stadium in 2009 (see page 7) and Northern Illinois claiming a 42-35 win at the Kibbie Dome in 2007. Prior to 2007, the teams played four times between 1969 and 1975.

#IN SEARCH OF 2-0: Northern Illinois is looking to go 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2003, when the Huskies opened the season 7-0. In the nine years since (not including 2013), NIU has lost its first game eight times. In 2011, the last time the Huskies won their opener, they lost their second game.

#NOT OPEN: Following a season-opening win at Iowa on August 31st, NIU enjoyed its first "true" open week (14 days between games) since 2009. Over the last three seasons, Northern Illinois has had breaks as long as nine, 11 and 12 days when making the switch to the ESPN weeknight schedule in November. The Huskies' last truly open Saturday came on Oct. 10, 2009, between games versus Western Michigan and Toledo.

#GREAT START: NIU opened the season by defeating Iowa, 30-27, on a 36-yard field goal by Mathew Sims with four seconds to play. Sims' kick came two plays after safety Jimmie Ward's interception gave the Huskies the ball on the Iowa 30 with 1:17 to play and the score tied at 27. NIU led 10-0 in the first quarter, but Iowa scored 17 straight points and led 24-17 at halftime and 27-20 with 6:42 to play. Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch hit Da'Ron Brownfrom 33-yards out with 5:05 on the clock to tie the game, paving the way for heroics by Ward and Sims.

#MAC HONORS: Following the Iowa win, NIU kicker Mathew Sims and quarterback Jordan Lynchwere named the Mid-American Conference West Division Special Teams and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively. Sims made all three of his field goal attempts, and capped his day by hitting the game-winner from 36 yards out with four seconds on the clock. Lynch accounted for 331 yards of total offense by completing 25-of-41 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and leading NIU in rushing with 56 yards on 22 carries.

#THE I'S HAVE IT: Each of the Huskies' 2013 non-conference opponents hails from the four states that begin with the letter I. NIU opens its season with road games at Iowa and at Idaho before returning home to face Eastern Illinois (Sept. 21). NIU closes out the non-conference slate versus Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana on Sept. 28.

#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.

#IDAHOMECOMING: The Huskies' game at Idaho is a "homecoming" for new NIU President Doug Baker, who came to Northern Illinois after spending eight years (2005-13) at the University of Idaho as provost and executive vice-provost. Baker was hired as NIU's 12th president in April 2013 and officially assumed his duties at NIU July 1. Prior to his time at Idaho, Baker spent 24 years at Washington State, located just nine miles from Moscow.

#FROSH FACES: Six redshirt and three true freshmen made their Northern Illinois debuts at Iowa, led by defensive tackle Mario Jones, who started the game and was in on a pair of tackles. Jones' classmates Clayton Glasper (WR), Cody Hazelett (LB), Mike Ippolito (DT), Charles Ivory (S) and Levon Myers (OT) and true freshmen Mycial Allen (S), Aregeros Turner (WR) and Austin Smaha(LB) also saw their first action in Cardinal and Black. Ippolito and Allen played on the Huskie defense, Turner and Glasper took snaps with the Huskie offense, while Hazelett, Ivory, Allen and Smaha saw action on special teams.

#BIG KICKS: Senior kicker Mathew Simsrecorded the third game-winning field goal of his career when he hit from 36 yards out with four seconds to play to list NIU to a 30-27 win at Iowa. Sims made a pair of game-winning threes in 2011 - the first to defeat Ball State at home (41-38) and the second to win the MAC Championship game over Ohio (23-20). Sims also hit a game-tying field goal a year ago in the MAC Championship game to send the game into double overtime. Sims has made seven consecutive field goals and has 40 career threes.

#STEPPING IN & STEPPING UP: The "new" Huskie receiving corps showed it was ready to step in for departed seniors Martel Moore (75 catches, 1,083 yards, 13 TDs) and Perez Ashford (34, 373, 1) as Jordan Lynch completed 23 passes for 272 yards to wide receivers versus Iowa.Junior Da'Ron Brown set new career highs for catches (seven), receiving yards (92) and long reception (33 yards), including the game-tying touchdown catch with 5:05 to play. First-time starter Angelo Sebastianomatched his 2012 season total for catches with five and surpassed last year's yardage total (64) with 69 yards while also handling punt and kickoff return duties.

#TD TOMMYLEE: In just one half of play at Iowa, NIU's most experienced returning wide receiver, junior Tommylee Lewis, made his presence felt by catching a pair of touchdown passes - of 40 and 21 yards - as part of a five-catch, 82-yard half. Lewis ranked second on the Huskie team in receiving a year ago and now has 12 touchdowns in his NIU career with seven receiving, two rushing and three kickoff return scores.

#BIG BACK: Former linebacker Cameron Stingily made his first career start at tailback for the Huskies at Iowa and finished the game with 42 yards on 12 carries. Stingily, who entered the season with one career carry for five yards, is a 6-1, 244-pound bruising back. His longest career carry came on the Huskies' final drive at Iowa as he ran nine yards on NIU's penultimate play to considerably shorten Mathew Sims'game-winning field goal.

#BIG PLAY: Senior safety Jimmie Wardmade arguably the biggest single play of the Iowa game with his one-handed interception with 1:17 to play and the score tied 27-27. Ward perfectly read the out route he had seen multiple times during the game, broke on the ball and snagged it with his non-casted hand. He returned his fifth career interception to the Iowa 30-yard line. Ward, who has made 100-or-more tackles in back-to-back years, also led the Huskies in stops with 13 for his 11th career game with double-digit tackles.

#LYNCH FOR 6: After dipping its toe in the Heisman campaign waters last November, Northern Illinois embarked on an aggressive effort 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. He had never started a game, had thrown 26 career passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He was constantly asked how he would replace one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history, Chandler Harnish. Lynch entered 2013 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... Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. For more on Lynch, see pages 7-9 of this release.

#IN A RUSH: Jordan Lynchadded 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. His 1,815 rushing yardage total ranks as the third-highest total by an NIU back in the last 14 years, topped only by Wolfe (1,928 in 2006) and Turner (1,915 in 2002).

#TRAINING GROUND: There are five current FBS head coaches who previously coached at Northern Illinois, beginning with Minnesota's Jerry Kill and N.C. State's Dave Doeren. Kill served as the Huskies' head coach from 2008-10, while Doeren coached at NIU in 2011 and `12. New Syracuse head coach Scott Schaefer spent eight seasons (1996-2003) at NIU as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach under Joe Novak while new Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck played at Northern Illinois (2000-03) and then returned to coach wide receivers from 2007-09. 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 tackle 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 changed numbers for 2013. 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. 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. After wearing No. 12 as the Huskies' third-string quarterback last season, Matt Williamsis now playing wide receiver and wearing No. 8. #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. 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 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 2006-07. 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 14 are listed on the depth chart entering the Idaho 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 starters George Rainey, Ken Bishop and Joe Windsor and back-ups Stephen O'Neal and Zach Anderson. The other large concentration of seniors is at defensive back where Jimmie Ward, Jhony Faustin, Dominique Ware and Sean Evans are the backbone of 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 redshirted 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 on several of the Huskie special teams, while running back Akeem Daniels remains sidelined as does defensive lineman Anthony Wells.

#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. In the preseason poll, 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. 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 plays its first home game of the 2013 season on Sept. 21 when Eastern Illinois, ranked 14th in this week's Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision College Football Poll, visits Huskie Stadium for a 6 p.m. match-up.



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