Huskies Host Weis' Kansas Jayhawks Saturday at Huskie Stadium
Complete Release in PDF Format
Sept. 18, 2012
Northern Illinois Football 2012
The Top Ten
HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
2012 Record: 2-1
NORTHERN ILLINOIS FACTS
NIU-KANSAS SERIES HISTORY
THE LAST TIME (Sept. 10, 2011)
NIU HEAD COACH Dave Doeren
A 17-year collegiate coaching veteran who helped take teams to eight bowl games and two national championship contests as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2006-10), Kansas (2002-05), Montana (2000-01), USC (1998-99) and Drake (1995-97), Doeren was named the 21st head football coach in NIU history on Dec. 13, 2010.
Doeren came to NIU after completing his fifth season at Wisconsin in 2010 at the Rose Bowl where the Big Ten champion and 11-2 Badgers met TCU. After spending his first two seasons in Madison as the Badgers' co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator, he added defensive coordinator duties in January 2008. During Doeren's time at Wisconsin, the Badgers posted a 49-16 overall record and played in the Champs Sports (twice), Outback and Capital One bowls. At Wisconsin, Doeren's defenses were consistently ranked in the top 25 in the nation; while there he coached current National Football League defenders Jonathan Casillas (Saints), DeAndre Levy (Lions) and J.J. Watt (Texans).
Doeren arrived at UW after four seasons (2002-05) at the University of Kansas. He was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons at KU before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2005. Prior to his time at Kansas, Doeren coached the secondary at NCAA FCS power Montana for two seasons. Montana won the I-AA national championship in 2001 and went 28-3 with two conference titles in his time there.
He started his college coaching career as an assistant at Drake from 1995-97 where he coached linebackers, before becoming defensive coordinator in 1997. A four-year letterwinner at Drake (1990-93), Doeren earned Academic All-America honors as a senior and graduated with a bachelor's degree in pre-medical biology and a master's in educational leadership.
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HOME STRETCH: Northern Illinois begins a stretch of three home games in four weeks when the Huskies play host to the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday at Huskie Stadium. NIU, which is 1-1 in home games this season after falling to Iowa at Chicago's Soldier Field in the season opener and defeating UT Martin the following week, plays seven home games in 2012.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Northern Illinois will host its third set of "hawks" when the Kansas Jayhawks come to town Saturday. NIU has already faced the Iowa Hawkeyes and the UT Martin Skyhawks this season, but will not take on the Miami Redhawks. In all, the Huskies' 2012 slate features five "bird" teams as NIU visits the Cardinals (Ball State) and Eagles (Eastern Michigan) in MAC play.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: If the previous two games in the NIU-Kansas series are any indication, Saturday's game will come down to the final play. Both previous games in the series have been decided by three points. A year ago, Kansas' D.J. Beshears nudged across the goal line with nine seconds to play to give KU a 45-42 victory. The contest featured 996 yards of total offense 12 touchdowns (six by each team) and 15 kickoffs. In the first meeting in 1983, NIU kicker Vince Scott booted a 26-yard field goal with eight seconds on the clock to give the Huskies a 37-34 victory.
BIG 12 BATTLES: Northern Illinois is 4-11 all-time against teams that make up the current Big 12 Conference. NIU has faced six Big 12 teams. In addition to the 1-1 mark versus Kansas, the Huskies are 2-4 versus Kansas State, 1-3 all-time versus Iowa State, and have a 0-1 record against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and TCU. NIU has never faced Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, or Texas Tech.
RECENTLY: NIU raised its record to 2-1 with a hard-fought, 41-40 victory over Army at West Point last Saturday. NIU's Jordan Lynch hit Martel Moore with an eight-yard touchdown pass with 4:19 to play for the winning score, and Boomer Mays tackled Army QB Trent Steelman for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-three with 1:47 remaining to secure the win.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: With a 41-11 mark at Huskie Stadium since 2003, NIU has raised its all-time record in the facility to 147-97-2 for a .602 winning percentage all-time. NIU's Huskie Stadium winning percentage of .788 since 2002 ranks the Huskies in the Top 20 in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
HAPPY AT HOME: NIU extended its school-record winning streak at Huskie Stadium to 16 games with its win over UT Martin. The Huskies have not lost a game in DeKalb since Sept. 26, 2009 when NIU dropped a 34-31 decision to Idaho. Northern Illinois has won 12 straight Mid-American Conference games at home, dating to a 33-30 overtime loss to Central Michigan on Nov. 12, 2008.
STAFF TRANSITION: On Sept. 3, Northern Illinois announced that first-year offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar's duties would be reassigned in order to allow him to focus on his battle with cancer. Assistant coach Rod Carey assumed game-planning and play-calling duties for the Huskie offense, which includes three coaches with backgrounds as offensive coordinators--Carey, quarterbacks coach Bob Cole and running backs coach Mike Uremovich. Joe Tripodi, a third-year graduate assistant who coaches the Huskie tight ends and fullbacks, becomes a full-time assistant and takes on recruiting duties. Dunbar remains on staff and will attend practices and meetings when he can.
SON OF THE SUNFLOWER STATE: For the second straight season, Northern Illinois Head Coach Dave Doeren leads his Huskies against his home state school, as well as the school where he previously coached. Doeren served as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at KU from 2002-04 under head coach Mark Mangino, and added co-defensive coordinator duties in 2005. Doeren's ties to the state go even deeper as he grew up in the Kansas City suburbs and attended Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission.
FAVORITE SON: The Huskie coaching staff features a KU fan favorite in linebackers coach Kevin Kane, who played linebacker for the Jayhawks, and Dave Doeren, for four years (2002-05) before beginning his coaching career as a student assistant at KU in 2006 and '07. Kane, a Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) product, is fondly remembered for his interception return for a touchdown versus Nebraska in 2005 that helped the Jayhawks' break Nebraska's 36-game series winning streak. He won the Nolan Cromwell Award for Leadership as a junior and served as a team captain his senior season.
WAYWARD SONS?: The Huskie roster includes four Kansas natives - tight end Luke Eakes (St. Marys), offensive lineman Logan Pegram (Silver Lake), linebacker Boomer Mays (Lawrence) and defensive end Matthew Baltimore (Overland Park) - and three more players from the Kansas City area with Missouri addresses in defensive end Donovan Gordon and linebacker Videl Nelson (Kansas City), and defensive end Joe Windsor (Kearney). Eakes, who won 14 letters in five sports at St. Marys, is starting as a sophomore while Windsor and Mays have seen significant time. Mays earned his first career start last week at linebacker. Pegram was slated to be NIU's lone returning starter on the offensive line before breaking his leg during preseason practices.
KANSAS JC CONNECTION: The Huskies' roster includes two seniors who played junior college football in Kansas in tailback Jamal Womble, and defensive back Demetrius Stone. Womble, a second-year Huskie who came to NIU from Hutchinson CC is part of the running back corps, while Stone has spent three seasons at Northern Illinois after playing one year at Coffeyville CC. Stone has 13 tackles and a pass break-up on the season.
QUICK STUDY: In just his third career start, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill.) added his name to the Huskie record books by passing for 342 yards - the seventh-most in school history - and rushing for 125 to total 467 all-purpose yards - the third-most all-time. Lynch was named the MAC West Offensive Player of the Week after completing 18-of-27 passes for four touchdowns. His 125 rushing yards on 13 carries included an 88-yard touchdown run. Lynch threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Martel Moore with 4:19 to play and also threw a career-long 69-yard touchdown pass to Tommylee Lewis.
LINEBACKER, TAILBACK, QUARTERBACK: Quarterback Jordan Lynch, who Dave Doeren described in the preseason as "a linebacker" playing quarterback, has run like a tailback in 2012 with a pair of 100-yard rushing games and five rushing touchdowns. Versus Iowa, Lynch gained 119 yards on 18 carries, highlighted by a 73-yard touchdown run. At Army, Lynch went for 125 yards on 13 carries with an 88-yard score to average 9.6 yards per rush. Lynch now has four career 100-yard rushing games.
TRIPLE THREAT: NIU's Jordan Lynch goes into the Kansas game ranked in the Top 30 in the NCAA in four different categories.
SIDELINE TO SIDELINE: Huskie senior linebacker Tyrone Clark made a team-high 17 tackles Saturday at Army with 10 solo stops and three tackles for loss. Clark's 17 tackles are the most by a Huskie player since Tim McCarthy had 17 tackles versus Ball State on Oct. 29, 2005. The last player to make more than 17 tackles in a game was Brian Atkinson, who had 22 stops versus Eastern Michigan on Nov. 20, 2004. Clark leads NIU with 19 solo stops and is second in tackles for loss with four and in total tackles with 31.
STILL SPECTACULAR: In many way, NIU receiver Martel Moore (San Antonio, Texas) was the difference in the Huskies' win over Army as he caught seven passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 4:19 to play. Moore and Lynch connected five times for 93 yards in the second half, and he caught passes of 27, 28 and eight yards on the final drive. The senior recorded his fifth career 100-yard receiving day.
ONLY WAY TO GET IT: Northern Illinois went into the season opener versus Iowa with the least experienced offensive line in the country as every player in the Huskies' front five made his first career start at Soldier Field. Versus Iowa, NIU lined up with center Andrew Ness, guards Aidan Conlon and Tyler Pitt and tackles Matt Krempel and Tyler Loos. Since that game, NIU has welcomed guard Jared Volk back from an offseason knee injury. He started two games a year ago and has stepped into the starting five, while Ryan Brown has started the last two games at tackle in place of Krempel.
NARROW MARGINS: Over the last two seasons, more than half - nine - of Northern Illinois' 17 games have been decided by seven points or less, including two one-point games in 2012. NIU is 6-3 overall in the close games, with six wins in its last seven close contests. This year, the Huskies are 1-1 in one-point games, falling 18-17 versus Iowa and winning 41-40 at Army.
NEW NAMES: Twenty-three players who had never seen action for Northern Illinois prior to this season have suited up and played for the Huskies in 2012. Here is the list by category. Starters indicated by (*).
BACK-TO-BACK: Northern Illinois is one of 10 FBS programs to win at least 11 games in each of the last two years, joining Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, TCU, Boise State, Oregon, Stanford, LSU and Alabama. NIU and Stanford are the only teams whose 11-win seasons came under different head coaches.
WATCH LISTER: For the second consecutive season, Huskie DE Sean Progar was named to the preseason watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, presented to the nation's top lineman/linebacker. NIU's most experienced returning player with 37 starts in 43 career games, Progar has 135 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 quarterback sacks in his NIU career.
SERVICE MAN: Tight end Jason Schepler, who has been recognized by Huskie coaches as one of the team's offensive players of the week in each of the last two weeks, is one of 117 nominees for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. Schepler tallies at least 14 hours of community service projects per semester. A member of NIU's Leadership Council, he also excels in the classroom, maintaining a 3.85 grade point average in electrical engineering.
NEXT: Northern Illinois opens Mid-American Conference play versus Central Michigan at Huskie Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
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