Northern Illinois Opens MAC Play versus CMU at Home

GO HUSKIES Northern Illinois defensive end Joe Windsor (97) celebrates with defensive tackle Anthony Wells (91) and defensive end Jason Meehan (49) after a sack.
GO HUSKIES
Northern Illinois defensive end Joe Windsor (97) celebrates with defensive tackle Anthony Wells (91) and defensive end Jason Meehan (49) after a sack.
GO HUSKIES

Sept. 25, 2012

Complete Release in PDF Format

NIU Gameday Central

Northern Illinois Football 2012
Game 5 - Central Michigan (2-1, 0-0) at Northern Illinois (3-1, 0-0)
Sept. 29, 2012 | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN3
DeKalb, Illinois | Huskie Stadium | 24,000

The Top Ten
1. Northern Illinois, the defending Mid-American Conference Champions, open league play versus Central Michigan, the only league team to defeat NIU a year ago.
2. The Huskies' three non-conference wins are the most by a Northern Illinois team since 2003.
3. NIU has won 17 straight games at Huskie Stadium, dating back to a 34-31 loss to Idaho on Sept. 26, 2009.
4. Northern Illinois is coming off a "boneyard" victory over Kansas after scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a 30-23 win.
5. Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch has won back-to-back MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors and ranks in the Top 20 in the nation in rushing, total offense and TDs responsible for.
6. Northern Illinois has won 15 of its last 16 Mid-American Conference games and has not lost a MAC game at home since Nov. 12, 2008.
7. NIU head coach Dave Doeren has a 14-4 record in two seasons at the helm of the Huskie program.
8. The Huskies rank 15th nationally with 13 quarterback sacks, led by senior defensive end Alan Baxter, whose five sacks are tied for 10th in the country.
9. Over the last 10 years, Northern Illinois is the winningest program in the Mid-American Conference (81-50, a 61.8 winning percentage) and leads all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the state of Illinois since 2002.
10. The Huskies are one of 10 FBS programs to win at least 11 games in each of the last two years after winning its first MAC Championship in 28 years and the GoDaddy.com Bowl last season,

HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
2012 Record: 3-1
2011 Record: 11-3
MAC (Regular Season) Record/Finish: 7-1/1st West
Head Coach: Dave Doeren
Record at NIU/Years: 14-4/2nd
Career Record/Years: 14-4/2nd
Alma Mater/Year: Drake/1994
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 526-464-51
Last Bowl Game: 2012 GoDaddy.com; NIU 38, Arkansas State 20
MAC Championship Game Appearances: 3 (last, 2011, 23-20 W)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 49/24
Starters Returning: 18 (4 offense, 10 defense, 4 specialists)

2012 NIU SCHEDULE

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FACTS
Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Founded: 1895
Enrollment: 23,850
Affiliation: NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision
Conference: Mid-American (West Division)
Colors: Cardinal and Black
Nickname: Huskies
Stadium: Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium
Surface/Capacity: FieldTurf /24,000
President (Alma Mater, Year): Dr. John Peters (John Carroll `67)
Assoc. VP/Athletic Director: Jeff Compher
Alma Mater, Year: James Madison `80
Ticket Information: 815-752-6800

CHIPPEWAS' FACTS
2012 Record: 2-1
2011 Record/MAC Record/Finish: 3-9/2-6/6th West
Head Coach: Dan Enos (Michigan State/1991)
Record at CMU/Year: 8-19/3rd
Career Record/Year: 8-19/3rd
Location: Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
Enrollment: 28,311
Conference: Mid-American
Colors: Maroon and Gold
Stadium: Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Surface/Capacity: FieldTurf/30,255
President: Dr. George E. Ross
Athletic Director: Dave Heeke
Athletics Website: www.cmuchippewas.com
Twitter/Facebook: @CMUAthletics/CMU Athletics
Ticket Information: 1-888-347-3872
CMU SCHEDULE & RESULTS

NIU-CMU SERIES
Overall: CMU leads 25-21-1
In DeKalb: NIU leads 13-9-1
In Mt. Pleasant: CMU leads 16-8
In MAC Games: Series tied 13-13
Streak: Central Michigan, 1
FIrst Meeting: Sept. 30, 1939; CMU 6, NIU 0 (A)
Last Meeting: Oct. 1, 2011; CMU 48, NIU 41 (A)

THE LAST TIME (Oct. 1, 2011)
Central Michigan took a 17-0 early lead, expanded it to 21 points n the fourth period and held on to claim a 48-41 victory over Northern Illinois at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Five of CMU's six touchdowns came on plays of 35 yards or longer, including a 79-yard pass from Ryan Radcliff to Courtney Williams in the first quarter that gave the Chippewas a 10-0 lead. Radcliff also completed touchdown passes of 43 and 46 yards to Paris Cotton, who had over 100 yards both rushing and receiving. Radcliff's final touchdown pass came on a 61-yard toss to David Blackburn with 10:42 to play and gave CMU a 45-24 lead. NIU QB Chandler Harnish drove the Huskies 80 yards in 14 plays to close the gap to 45-31 with Jasmin Hopkins scoring on a 10-yard catch. Hopkins gained 95 rushing yards on 19 carries to lead NIU. Northern Illinois continued its comeback by making a pair of onside kick recoveries in the final minute. When Mathew Sims kicked his fourth field goal of the game with 19 seconds to play, the Huskies trailed 48-41. NIU recovered the ensuing kick on their own 41-yard line facing a 48-41 deficit with 17 seconds left. From there, a pair of Harnish deep balls were batted down before his final heave was picked off. Harnish threw for 370 yards while completing 27-of-50 passes. His 462 yards of total offense were the second-most in school history.

NIU HEAD COACH Dave Doeren
In his first season as head coach of the Northern Illinois University football program, Dave Doeren and his 2011 Huskies achieved milestones rarely reached over the course of a career, let alone a single season. Doeren's first year at the helm of a program saw NIU win the school's first Mid-American Conference Championship since 1983, triumph in the GoDaddy.com Bowl and close out the year with nine straight victories en route to tying the school record with 11 wins. Doeren became the winningest first-year head coach in school history. 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.

HUSKIE MULTIMEDIA

NIU vs. Central Michigan TV broadcast
- NIU's game versus Central Michigan can be seen live online exclusively on ESPN3.com
- Dan Gutowsky will handle play-by-play with Corey Chavous alongside as color analyst.

NIU vs. Central Michigan on Radio
- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins 30 minutes before kickoff.
- NIU network affiliates in 2012 are: WLBK 1360 AM (DeKalb), WSCR 670 AM (Chicago), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.) and WYLL 1160 AM (Chicago)* alternate Chicago station - The NIU-CMU game will air on WYLL 1160 AM in Chicago
- Bill Baker is in his 32nd season as the play-by-play voice of the Huskies. He is joined by 27-year color analyst Mark Lindo and six-year sideline reporter Casey Kahler.

"Inside Huskie Football" Radio Show
- Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. (Central)
- Sept. 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25; Nov. 1, 8, 20
- Airs on WLBK 1360 AM (DeKalb), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville)
- NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren, two Huskie players and an NIU Athletics special guest will be live each week at Cabana Charley's on Peace Rd. in Sycamore, Ill.

NIU Weekly Radio Show
- Weekly 30-minute show on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago, highlighting the best of Huskie Athletics
- For this Saturday only, the show will air at 6:30 a.m.
- Hosted by Andy Garcia and NIU Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher
- Features a weekly interview with football head coach Dave Doeren, other NIU head coaches and the latest Huskie news

Huskies All-Access
- Hear all NIU live radio broadcasts, including football and basketball games, Inside Huskie Football and NIU Weekly
- Watch live Huskie games, including the UMass football game, volleyball, soccer, basketball, wrestling and gymnastics
- Also see weekly and post-game press conferences, video features and special events (Signing Day) streamed live.
- Cost is $6.95/month or $49.95/year
- Go to www.NIUHuskies.com/allaccess

Getting Social
- On Twitter: @NIUAthletics, @NIUScores, @PrideinthePack
- On Facebook: NIU Huskies, Northern Illinois Football
- On YouTube: niuhuskiesdotcom
- See NIU Athletics' social media hub online to see all of our coaches' and teams' Facebook and Twitter accounts

NEWS & NOTES
BACK TO THE MAC:
Northern Illinois opens Mid-American Conference play versus recent MAC nemesis Central Michigan, the only league team to defeat NIU in the regular season over the last two years and the last MAC team to earn a win at Huskie Stadium. The CMU contest is the second of three home games over a four-week period for Northern Illinois.

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.
Category Rank Average
TDs Responsible For T10th 18.00
Total Offense T14th 320.75
Rushing 18th 109.50
Passing Efficiency 37th 149.59

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.
Redshirt Freshmen (10): WR Juwan Brescacin, OG Aidan Conlon*, OG Matt Killian, LB Rasheen Lemon, CB Paris Logan, LB Boomer Mays*, QB Matt McIntosh, S Tre' Moore, C Andrew Ness*, WR Angelo Sebastiano. Newcomers (2): DT Ken Bishop*, TB Giorgio Bowers.
First Action (5): DT Donovan Gordon, LB Ryan Gorrell, DE Daniel Green, OT Tyler Loos*, OL Wes Ott

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®.