Northern Illinois Opens MAC Play versus CMU at Home
Sept. 25, 2012
Northern Illinois Football 2012
The Top Ten
HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
NORTHERN ILLINOIS FACTS
THE LAST TIME (Oct. 1, 2011)
NIU HEAD COACH Dave Doeren
NIU vs. Central Michigan TV broadcast
NIU vs. Central Michigan on Radio
"Inside Huskie Football" Radio Show
NIU Weekly Radio Show
NEWS & NOTES
200 AND COUNTING: The Central Michigan game will be Northern Illinois' 200th as a member of the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies are beginning their 27th season as a MAC school, and their 16th since rejoining the league in 1997 after originally competing in the MAC from 1975-85. NIU is 107-90-2 all-time in MAC games with a 72-45 (.615) mark since 1997. NIU has won 15 of its last 16 and 20 of its last 24 MAC contests (regular season).
MOST FREQUENT FOE: Northern Illinois has played Central Michigan 47 times since 1939, more than any other current NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school. The Chippewas own a 25-21-1 lead in the all-time series; in 26 games as MAC opponents, each team has claimed 13 wins. Central Michigan has won four of the last five games in the series, including last year's 48-41 victory in Mt. Pleasant, while Northern Illinois won nine straight meetings from 1998-2006. In DeKalb, Northern Illinois owns a 13-9-1 mark versus CMU.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: With a 42-11 record since 2003, NIU has raised its all-time record at Huskie Stadium to 148-97-2 for a .603 winning percentage. Northern Illinois is 61-38-1 (.615) all-time in home Mid-American Conference games with a 40-19 (.678) mark versus the league in Huskie Stadium since 1997.
HAPPY AT HOME: NIU extended its school-record winning streak at Huskie Stadium to 17 games with its win over Kansas. 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.
CONFERENCE OPENERS: NIU is 9-17 all-time in MAC openers, with a 5-10 mark since rejoining the league in 1997. Northern Illinois has won two of its last three MAC openers, with last year's loss at Central Michigan following wins over Akron (2010) and Western Michigan (2009).
RECAPPING: Northern Illinois enters conference play 3-1 after a come-from-behind 30-23 win over Kansas last Saturday at Huskie Stadium. Trailing 23-13 after Kansas returned an interception for a score, then missed the extra point, NIU scored on a 65-yard pass play from Jordan Lynch to Martel Moore, a 44-yard field goal by Mathew Sims and a two-yard run by Leighton Settle to claim the win. While Lynch and Company were doing their part on offense, the NIU defense held KU to 39 yards on 20 plays, just nine passing, in the final period.
ONE FOR THE BONEYARD: With the win over Kansas, Northern Illinois will add a dog bone (sticker) to the wall in its locker room, signifying the Huskies' 11th win over a team from a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) automatic qualifying league. NIU's first boneyard win came versus Kansas on Sept. 3, 1983, while the Huskies' last boneyard victory was versus Minnesota on Sept. 25, 2010. For the complete list, go to page six of this release.
FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACKS: For the fourth time in its last eight contests and second consecutive game, Northern Illinois staged a fourth-quarter comeback to earn a victory. Last Saturday, the Huskies trailed Kansas 23-13 after KU's 54-yard interception return for a touchdown with 14:33 to play. NIU then scored 17 unanswered points to secure the win. A week earlier, Northern Illinois entered the final period down six points (34-28) to Army and trailed by five (40-35) with 8:55 to play before pulling out the one-point (41-40) win. The Huskies' most memorable recent comeback win came over Ohio in the MAC Championship game as the Bobcats led 20-7 going into the final period. NIU's Mathew Sims kicked the game-winning field goal with no time on the clock.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Huskie defense clamped down on Kansas in the final quarter of NIU's 30-23 win, allowing the Jayhawks just 39 yards on 20 plays, including 22 rushing yards on 11 carries and 17 passing yards. KU quarterbacks completed just two-of-nine passes in the final period. In the last 10 minutes of the game, after NIU tied the game at 23, Kansas ran 10 plays for minus 12 yards as the Huskie defense recorded two sacks and a tackle for loss.
NARROW MARGINS: Over the last two seasons, 10 of Northern Illinois' 18 games have been decided by seven points or less, including two one-point games in 2012. NIU is 7-3 overall in the close games, with seven wins in its last eight close contests. This year, the Huskies are 2-1 in tight games, falling 18-17 versus Iowa and winning 41-40 at Army and 30-23 over Kansas.
NON-CON SUCCESS: Northern Illinois' three non-conference wins in 2012 are the most by a Huskie team since 2003, when NIU went 4-0 in its non-conference match-ups to start the season (including two wins versus ranked teams). NIU posted a 2-2 record in non-conference games in each of the last three seasons. Since 2003, Northern Illinois is 19-19 in non-conference contests.
SACK ATTACK: Four games into the 2012 season, Northern Illinois has recorded 13 sacks as a team and is nearly halfway to its 2011 total of 28 (in 14 games). The Huskies currently rank 15th in the country and second in the MAC with 3.25 sacks per game, with the bulk of the damage done versus Iowa (six sacks) and Kansas (four). After recording two sacks apiece versus Kansas, defensive ends Alan Baxter and Joe Windsor lead NIU with five and four sacks, respectively, to rank tied for 10th and tied for 21st in the country. A year ago, Baxter and Sean Progar tied for the team lead with 5.5 sacks on the SEASON, a mark which seems sure to be eclipsed. The Northern Ililnois defensive line has r 11.5 of the Huskies' 13 sacks.
STILL SPECTACULAR: NIU senior receiver Martel Moore recorded back-to-back 100-yard receiving games for the first time in his career after catching five passes for 105 yards versus Kansas. Moore's performance included a 65-yard touchdown catch and run on the first play after a Kansas score to bring the Huskies within three points of KU in the fourth quarter. The previous week at Army, Moore caught seven passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 4:19 to play. The senior now has six career 100-yard receiving days with three in his last five games, and 15 career touchdown catches.
IN THE ZONE: Tailbacks Leighton Settle and Akeem Daniels scored their first touchdowns of the 2012 season versus Kansas, becoming the third and fourth tailbacks to record rushing TDs for the Huskies this season. Seven of the eight players who have carried the ball for NIU this year have scored with back-up quarterback Matt McIntosh (one game) the lone exception. A year ago, six players scored a rushing touchdown for the Huskies.
TRIPLE THREAT: NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch goes into the Central Michigan game ranked in the Top 20 in the NCAA in three different categories and is in the top 40 in the country in passing efficiency. Lynch's rushing average of 109.5 yards per game ranks third in the country among quarterbacks, less than a yard behind Michigan's Denard Robinson and Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
LINEBACKER, TAILBACK, QUARTERBACK: Quarterback Jordan Lynch, who Dave Doeren described in the preseason as "a linebacker" playing quarterback, has run like a tailback with three 100-yard rushing games and five rushing touchdowns in 2012. 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. He totaled a season-high 134 yards on 22 carries versus Kansas, including a 14-yard pick-up on a quarterback sneak on Northern Illinois' game-winning touchdown drive. Lynch now has five career 100-yard rushing games.
BACK-TO-BACK: Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch won his second consecutive MAC West Offensive Player of the Week Award after leading NIU past Kansas with 369 yards of total offense on 25-of-35 passing for 235 yards and two scores, and 134 rushing yards on 22 carries. In his fourth career start, Lynch surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and passing yards as he now has 1,024 passing and 1,046 rushing yards in 26 career games played. Versus Army, Lynch 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 earning his first MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honor.
SIDELINE TO SIDELINE: Huskie senior linebacker Tyrone Clark made a team-high 17 tackles 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.
FIRST-TIME STARTERS: The Huskies have seen 14 players make their first collegiate starts in 2012. Only one team in the country (Air Force with 17) has had more first-time starters this season. NIU has had six offensive linemen make their first starts and the current starting five enters the CMU game with 19 career starts. Of the 14 NIU first-timers, 11 are on offense, led by junior quarterback Jordan Lynch and including tailbacks Leighton Settle, Jamal Womble and Keith Harris, Jr. Defensively, middle linebackers Victor Jacques (Iowa) and Boomer Mays (Army) are new to the starting line-up as is defensive tackle Ken Bishop.
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. Players who have started games indicated by (*).
True Freshmen (6): WR Jacob Brinlee, LB Mike Cotton, DE Perez Ford, TB Keith Harris, Jr.*, TE Desroy Maxwell, CB Marlon Moore.
ONE OF 10: 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 coaches.
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 has assumed game-planning and play-calling duties for the Huskie offense, which includes three coaches with offensive coordinator experience in 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, was elevated to a full-time assistant position and added recruiting duties. Dunbar remains on staff and attends practices and meetings when he can.
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 38 starts in 44 career games, Progar has 150 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 quarterback sacks in his NIU career.
SERVICE MAN: Tight end Jason Schepler, who has twice been recognized by Huskie coaches as one of the team's offensive players of the week, was named one of 30 candidates for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award. Schepler, who was selected as a candidate from among hundreds of nominees, maintains a 3.85 grade point average in electrical engineering. A member of NIU's Leadership Council, he was also Northern Illinois' nominee for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®.
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