NIU Opens MAC Play at Kent State

GO HUSKIES Da'Ron Brown
GO HUSKIES
Da'Ron Brown
GO HUSKIES

Oct. 1, 2013

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME 5 - No. 23 NIU Huskies (4-0, 0-0) at Kent State (2-3, 1-1)
Oct. 5, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. (CT) | TWS/ESPN3 | Kent, Ohio | Dix Stadium | 25,319
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (Chicago) | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM (DeKalb) | TWC Sportschannel/ESPN3
(Locally on WTVO-DT2)

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois44
Kent State37
November 30, 2012
Detroit, Mich. (Ford Field)
NIU PREVAILS IN DOUBLE OVERTIME FOR SECOND STRAIGHT MAC TITLE
In the first double overtime game in the Mid-American Conference Championship, the Northern Illinois Huskies claimed their second MAC Championship in as many years, defeating Kent State, 44-37, in double overtime ..

HUSKIE BITES
^The Northern Illinois Huskies open Mid-American Conference play versus the last MAC team they faced when NIU plays Kent State in Ohio Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (CT)
^NIU closes out a string of four road games in its first five contests with this MAC Championship game rematch from 2012.
^The Huskies are 4-0 for the first time since 2003 after manhandling Purdue, 55-24, last Saturday in West Lafayette. NIU became the first MAC team to defeat two Big Ten teams during the regular season while scoring the most points by a league team versus a Big Ten foe.
^NIU has won 25 of its last 27 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 and is 38-8 since the start of the 2010 season.
^NIU has won a nation-leading 17 straight conference games, including the last two MAC Championship games. The Huskies' last loss to a MAC team came on Oct. 1, 2011 at Central Michigan.
^With 11 straight road wins, the Huskies own the second-longest road winning streak in the country.
^The Huskies intercepted four passes and forced five turnovers at Purdue. NIU also scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in its top performance of the season to date.
^NIU ranks second in the country in quarterback sacks with 4.25 per game and is sixth in turnover margin. Offensively, the Huskies are 14th in rushing offense and 27th overall.
^Rod Carey is 4-1 all-time as NIU's head coach after making his debut in the 2013 Orange Bowl. Carey was NIU's offensive coordinator in the last 12 games of 2012 and offensive line coach for the past two years.
^Quarterback Jordan Lynch was named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season and seventh time in his career after throwing for three TDs and 207 yards on 18-of-25 passing. Tommylee Lewis scored on a 99-yard kickoff return to earn the Specialist of the Week honor.

HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
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: 4-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 539-465-51
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)

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
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

Web: NIUHuskies.com; JordanLynchfor6.com
Twitter: @NIUAthletics, @Lynchfor6, @PrideinthePack, @NIUscores
Facebook: NIU Huskies, Northern Illinois Football

NIU 2013 SCHEDULE

KENT STATE FACTS
2013 Record/Conference Record: 2-3/1-1
2012 Record: 11-3
Conference Record/Finish: 8-0 (1st, East)
Head Coach (Alma Mater/Yr): Paul Haynes (Kent State/'93)
Record at KSU/Years: 2-3/1st
Career Record/Years: 2-3/1st
Location: Kent, Ohio
Enrollment: 42,000
Conference: Mid-American (East)
Colors: Navy Blue & Gold
Stadium: Dix Stadium
Surface/Capacity: FieldTurf /20,500
President: Dr. Lester A. Lefton
Athletic Director: Joel Nielsen
Athletics Website: www.kentstatesports.com
Twitter: @KSUAthletics
Tickets: 330-672-2244
Media Relations: Aaron Chimenti (FB Primary) achiment@kent.edu/330-672-8468
Lyndsey Maurer (Director) lmaurer2@kent.edu/330-672-8467

KENT STATE 2013 SCHEDULE & RESULTS
NIU-KENT STATE SERIES HISTORY
Overall: NIU leads 17-7
In Kent: NIU leads 6-5
In DeKalb: NIU leads 10-2
In MAC Games: NIU leads 15-3
Streak: Northern Illinois, 6
First Meeting: Nov. 18, 1949; KSU 21, NIU 19 (H)
Last Meeting: Nov. 30, 2012; NIU 44, KSU 37 - 2OT (N)

NIU HEAD COACH 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 CBSSports.com 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. Carey and his wife Tonya have two children, daughter Kennedi (8) and son Charlie (6).

FOLLOW THE HUSKIES

The Redesigned NIUHuskies.com
-- Northern Illinois Athletics unveiled its redesigned website at www.NIUHuskies.com, 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 get information and links at GameDay Central.

Watch the Kent State Game
-- Time Warner Cable Sportschannel will broadcast the game, which can be seen live in the Rockford market on WTVO-DT2 (Rockford's My Network TV).
-- The game will also be streamed live online on ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN mobile app (for users with a subscription from an affiliated provider).
-- Comcast SportsNet Chicago will replay the game on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.
-- Cleveland sports anchor Mike Cairns (play-by-play), and Frank Stams (analyst) will call the action.
-- Time Warner Cable Sportschannel will show the game live in Ohio and Erie, Pa. and delayed (7 p.m. CT) in Milwaukee

Huskies-Boilermakers on Radio
-- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 2 p.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff.
-- NIU network affiliates that will carry the Purdue game are WLBK 1360 AM and 98.9 FM (DeKalb), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.) and WSCR AM 560 (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 is in his first season on the sidelines.
-- The game can also be heard online via NIUTube, accessible through NIUHuskies.com.

NIU Weekly Radio Show
-- NIU's weekly 30-minute show highlights the best of Huskie Athletics.
-- The show airs on WSCR AM 670 The Score in Chicago this Saturday at the special time of 6:30 a.m.
-- WLBK 1360 AM/98.9 FM in DeKalb will carry the show at 6:30 p.m. Friday nights.
-- NIU Weekly is hosted by Andy Garcia and NIU Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics Sean Frazier.
-- Hear from football head coach Rod Carey, plus other NIU head coaches and the latest Huskie updates.

NIUTUBE (formerly Huskie All-Access)
-- 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 www.NIUHuskies.com/allaccess.

Getting Social
-- Twitter: @NIUAthletics, @NIUScores, @PrideinthePack
-- Facebook: NIU Huskies, Northern Illinois Football, Jordan Lynch for 6
-- YouTube: niuhuskiesdotcom
-- See NIU Athletics' social media hub online to see all of our coaches' and teams' Facebook and Twitter accounts

NIU NEWS & NOTES

BACK IN THE MAC: The two-time Mid-American Conference defending champion Northern Illinois Huskies jump into league play Saturday as they take on the Kent State Golden Flashes in a rematch of the 2012 Marathon MAC Championship Game.

ROAD WARRIORS: NIU is one of only five FBS teams to play four of its first five games of 2013 on the road, a stretch that concludes with the trip to Kent State. Toledo, Utah State and Ole Miss are also on the road for four of their first five games, while Florida Atlantic plays five of its first six contests away from home. NIU, along with Ole Miss, FAU and Houston (which has two open dates) will not play its second home game of 2013 until October 12.

MAC STREAKING: The Huskies own the longest conference winning streak in the nation at 17 games as NIU has not lost to a Mid-American opponent since falling at Central Michigan (48-41) in its 2011 league opener. NIU won the remainder of its MAC games that season and the title game, then swept through conference play a year ago before defeating Kent State in Detroit.

ROAD STREAKING: NIU's current 11-game winning streak in road games ranks as the second-longest in the country behind only Oregon's 16 straight wins on the road. The Huskies have not lost on the road since dropping a 48-41 decision to Central Michigan on Oct. 1, 2011, and are unbeaten in three road trips this season.

RANKINGS RE-ENTRY: The 4-0 Huskies re-entered the national rankings at No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll this week with 131 points. NIU is just outside the Top 25 at 26th in the Associated Press poll with 104 points. The Huskies' ranking in Week 6 is the earliest appearance in the Top 25 by an NIU team since 2003. NIU is ranked for the third time in the last four seasons.

B1G BUSTER?: With its 55-24 win over Purdue last Saturday, NIU is now 4-4 in its last eight games versus Big Ten Conference opponents and became the first Mid-American Conference team to defeat two Big Ten opponents in one season. The Huskies' 55 points at Purdue were the most ever scored by a MAC team versus the Big Ten and its 31-point victory margin tied for the largest versus the B1G in league history.

HUSKIES IN THE MAC: NIU is 115-90-2 all-time in MAC games with a 79-45 (.637) record in league play since 1997. The Huskies have won 22 of their last 23 and 27 of their last 31 MAC regular season contests. Northern Illinois enters its 28th season as a member of the Mid-American Conference in 2013-14; the 2013 season is NIU's 17th in the MAC since rejoining the league in 1997. CONFERENCE OPENERS: NIU is 10-17 all-time in MAC openers, with a 6-10 mark since rejoining the league in 1997. The Huskies have won three of its last four MAC openers, including last year's 55-24 win over Central Michigan.

THE MAC ROAD: All-time, Northern Illinois is 50-52-1 (.490) in 103 Mid-American Conference road games. The Huskies have posted a 29-13 (.690) record versus MAC foes on the road since 2002 and are 36-26 (.581) on the road versus league teams since rejoining the MAC in 1997.

FILL THE BONEYARD: With wins over a pair of Big Ten Conference opponents in 2013, NIU will add two dog bones (stickers) to the wall in its locker room. The Huskies have 13 wins over teams from a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) automatic qualifying league. NIU's first boneyard win came versus Kansas on Sept. 3, 1983. For the complete list of NIU's Boneyard wins, see the chart in this release on page 7.

HOME STATERS: There are a trio of Ohio-ans on the Huskie roster in 2013 and two of them are expected to make the trip back to their home state with the Huskies this week. True freshman running back Aregeros (Are-GARE-oce) Turner (Copley, OH/Copley HS) and junior running back James Spencer (Fresmont, OH/Ross HS) have seen action in reserve roles for the Huskies this year. True freshman kicker Josh Brebant (Copley, OH/Copley HS) is the remaining player from Ohio on the NIU roster.

HOME SWEET HOME: NIU extended the longest FBS home stadium winning streak in the country to 22 games with its 43-39 win over Eastern Illinois Sept. 21 at Huskie Stadium. The Huskies' streak dates back to Sept. 26, 2009, when NIU dropped a 34-31 decision to Idaho. Ninety-six players on this year's roster have never experienced a loss on Brigham Field with only the Huskies' nine fifth-year seniors on hand the last time NIU lost a game at home. NIU next plays at home Saturday, Oct. 12, when it plays host to Akron.

SIX STRAIGHT: Northern Illinois leads the all-time series with Kent State 17-7 and has won the last six games between the teams dating back to 2001. The Huskies are just 6-5 in games played in Kent, with a 40-10 win on a snowy evening in 2008 on NIU's last trip to Dix Stadium. In MAC competition, NIU leads the all-time series 15-3, including last year's 44-37 double overtime victory in the MAC Championship game.

FROSH FACES: Two more true freshmen got into their first collegiate game last weekend at Purdue as NIU took the red shirts off of linebackers Sean Folliard and Jamaal Payton. They join classmates Mycial Allen (S), Aregeros Turner (WR) and Austin Smaha (DE) as true freshmen who have seen playing time this year. The Huskies have also played 11 redshirt freshmen in 2013. Redshirt DT Mario Jones is the only freshman to make a start this year.

OPPORTUNISTS: NIU ranks sixth in the country in turnover margin and is fifth in turnovers gained. The Huskies have capitalized by scoring 50 points off of turnovers on the season, including six scored by Jimmie Ward on a 62-yard interception return at Purdue. Versus the Boilermakers, NIU turned five turnovers into a season-best 17 points. Eastern Illinois' turnovers resulted in two Huskie touchdowns, while Idaho miscues resulted in 10 NIU points. The Huskies also added nine points after Iowa turnovers . The points off of turnovers has accounted for nearly 30 percent of the Huskies' scoring this year.

SAFETY DANCE: NIU safeties Jimmie Ward and Dechane Durante have been the chief thieves in the Huskie secondary this season as the two share the team lead in interceptions with three each. They also lead the MAC and are tied for fifth in the country in interceptions. Durante had a pair of INTs at Purdue, while Ward picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 62 yards for the first interception return touchdown of his career, and the first for NIU since Durante's return for a score in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Ward and Durante are also battling for the career lead in pickoffs among current Huskie defenders as both have seven career INTs. The Huskies have eight interceptions through a third of the season after recording 15 pickoffs in 14 games a year ago.

MEET YOU AT THE QB: After taking down Purdue's quarterbacks three times, the Huskie defense now ranks second in the nation in quarterback sacks with 17 on the season. NIU posted nine sacks (one off the school record) at Idaho and five versus EIU and is averaging 4.25 sacks per game, just behind Memphis' 4.33 average. Ten players have been in on the "sack party," led by sophomore defensive end Perez Ford, who has 3.5 sacks on the season. Ford, redshirt freshman DT Mario Jones and sophomore MLB Boomer Mays have all recorded their first career QB sacks this season.

LEADING THE D: After playing with a cast on his left hand to protect a broken finger suffered in preseason camp for the first three games, senior safety Jimmie Ward was cast-free versus Purdue. The cast did not stop the Mobile, Ala. native from leading the Huskie defense with 39 tackles and three interceptions through four games. Ward made arguably the biggest play of the Iowa game with his one-handed interception with 1:17 to play and the score tied 27-27. He stepped in front of a Jake Rudock pass to the sideline, setting up the Huskies' game-winning field goal. Ward's 28 solo stops on the season rank fifth in the country and lead the MAC.

RETURN ON: Tommylee Lewis scored on a kickoff return for the fourth time in his career at Purdue when he took the second half kickoff back 99 yards for a score. The kickoff return score was the fourth of Lewis' career, adding to the school record he tied as a freshman with two KOR returns in the same game at Toledo (also a record), and broke last year with a kickoff return score at Eastern Michigan. On Saturday, Lewis was untouched on his way to the end zone. The Huskie junior's career kickoff return average of 25.4 yards is a school record, while his 1,524 total kickoff return yards ranks tied for second all-time at NIU.

ALL-PURPOSE: The term might as well have been invented for Tommylee Lewis. The 5-7 Floridian leads NIU in catches (26) and kickoff returns (6-180), ranks second on the team in receiving yards (239) and third in rushing yards (124) after a 104-yard rushing game at Idaho. With Angelo Sebastiano sidelined, he added punt return duties in the last two games. Lewis, a Paul Hornung Award candidate, is averaging 138.75 all-purpose yards per game, third in the league and 32nd in the nation, and also ranks 36th in the country in catches per game.

FIELD GOAL FOCUS: NIU senior kicker Mathew Sims has made nine of his first 10 field goals this season to play a big role in three of the Huskies' four wins this year. He ranks third in the country in field goals/game and is 26th nationally in field goal percentage. At Idaho, Sims hit a 51-yard field goal with 10:49 to play to give the Huskies a 38-35 lead. The field goal was the second-longest of Sims' career (he made a school-record 54-yard kick vs. Western Michigan in 2012) and tied for the fifth-longest in school history. At Iowa, Sims made his third career game-winner when he hit a 36-yarder with four seconds to play to lift NIU to a 30-27 win.

EFFICIENCY: Jordan Lynch had a passing efficiency rating of 181.15 versus Purdue as he completed 18-of-25 passes for 207 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Lynch completed 16-of-20 passes in the first half and connected on 11 straight throws as part of a 14-of-15 start. Lynch's passing efficiency rating at Purdue cannot compare to back-up quarterback Matt McIntosh's numbers. After going one-for-one passing for an 18-yard touchdown during fourth-quarter duties at Purdue, McIntosh's passing efficiency for the season stands at 581.20.

LYNCH BIG VERSUS THE BIG TEN: In leading NIU to a pair of wins over teams from the Big Ten Conference this season, Jordan Lynch completed 43-of-66 passes (65.1%) with six touchdown passes and no interceptions, and ran for 91 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries. With a perfect non-conference season in 2013, he has improved his record as the Huskies' starter to 16-2.

SELECT COMPANY: In the Purdue game, Jordan Lynch became only the 26th FBS quarterback all-time to gain 2,000 rushing and 4,000 passing yards in a career. He enters Saturday's game with 4,186 passing and 2,862 rushing yards. Lynch completed 18-of-25 passes for 207 yards with three touchdown passes Saturday vedrsus the Boilermakers. With 138 rushing yards, he will become just the 10th FBS quarterback to have 3,000 rushing and 4,000 passing yards. Lynch ranks second (behind only his predecessor, four-year starter Chandler Harnish) on the Huskies' all-time total offense chart with 7,048 yards.

COME-FROM-BEHIND HUSKIES: NIU has come from behind to win three of its four game this season. After jumping out to an early 10-0 lead at Iowa, the Huskies trailed the Hawkeyes 24-17 at halftime. At Idaho on Sept. 14, the Vandals led NIU 28-14 at halftime, while Eastern Illinois jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead on the Huskies Sept. 21. NIU used a last-second field goal to defeat Iowa, 30-27, and scored 31 of the last 38 points of the game to claim a 45-35 win at Idaho. Versus Eastern Illinois, the Huskies scored 30 straight points, then trailed again 39-36, before coming back again in the fourth quarter to claim the 43-39 win.

THE HARD WAY: Over the years, the NIU football program has adopted the motto "The Hard Way" based on the Huskies' ability to battle adversity and overcome obstacles while winning games. Lately "The Hard Way" - which dates back to the Joe Novak era - has often extended to the game itself. In winning 37 of its last 45 games since the start of the 2010 season, NIU is 13-5 in games decided by seven points or less. The Huskies are 2-0 this season in close games, defeating Iowa and Eastern Illinois by three and four points, respectively. NIU went 4-1 in close games a year ago and won five of seven tight contests in the nailbiting season of 2011. Both years ended in MAC Championships.

CARRYING THE LOAD: NIU linebacker-turned-tailback Cameron Stingily has continued to progress in his new role as one of NIU's featured tailbacks. Stingily led NIU in rushing for the first time this year with 72 tough yards on 15 carries versus Purdue. He is averaging an impressive 5.1 yards per carry with 310 total yards on 61 totes. Stingily enjoyed his best day as a Huskie versus Eastern Illinois with 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Six times in that game, the 6-1, 244-pound junior got the ball in short yardage (third or fourth down with two or less yards) and carried would-be tacklers for the first down. Stingily also showed burst with a 46-yard run, the longest of his career. A two-way player in high school, Stingily spent his first two seasons on the NIU roster as a linebacker.

NO FUN: Eastern Illinois Head Coach Dino Babers on Cameron Stingily, "That guy's a bull," Babers said. "That was not fun. There's a lot of times when you're an old man, you wish you could go out there and play the game one more time. Not with him running the ball. I was fine just standing on the sideline coaching."

PLAYING LIKE SENIORS: The Huskies' 2013 roster includes 17 seniors; 12 on the defensive side of the ball with seven of those on the NIU defensive line. The Huskie defensive line seniors are George Rainey, Ken Bishop, Joe Windsor, Stephen O'Neal, Anthony Wells and Zach Anderson. At defensive back, 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 redshirted last year due to injury and returned for his final season. Quarterback Jordan Lynch, kicker Mathew Sims and special teamer Nate McNeal round out the active group.Tailback Akeem Daniels remains sidelined with a foot injury.

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.

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 JordanLynchFor6.com 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 reporters to follow Lynch this season.

LOOKING AHEAD: Next Saturday, NIU returns to Huskie Stadium to play host to Akron in a 4 p.m. contest. Northern Illinois will celebrate its 107th Homecoming, will induct a new class into its Athletics Hall of Fame and will welcome some of the greatest football teams in school history back to campus. Members of the Huskies' 1963 National Championship team, 1983 MAC Championship squad and groundbreaking 2003 team will hold reunions, and former Head Coach Joe Novak and All-MAC offensive lineman Ryan Diem are among those who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

THIRD DEGREE: Northern Illinois has outscored its opponents 48-13 in the third quarter of its four games this season and did not allow a team to score in the third period until the third game of the year. The Huskies own an 85-43 edge on its opponents in the second half. At Purdue, the Huskies "won" every quarter except the fourth (7-7), but still trail their opponents in scoring in the first quarter by a 48-33 margin.

TRAINING GROUND: Five current FBS head coaches previously coached at NIU, 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 was in DeKalb in 2011 and `12. New Syracuse head coach Scott Schaefer spent eight seasons (1996-2003) at NIU as defensive coordinator /defensive backs coach under Joe Novak while new Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck played at NIU (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.

 

 

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