Huskies Put Streaks on Line Saturday Versus Buffalo

GO HUSKIES Akeem Daniels
GO HUSKIES
Akeem Daniels
GO HUSKIES

Oct. 9, 2012

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Northern Illinois Football 2012
Game 7 - Buffalo (1-4, 0-2 MAC) at Northern Illinois (5-1, 2-0 MAC)
Oct. 13, 2012 | 2:30 p.m. | Comcast SportsNet Chicago
DeKalb, Ill. | Huskie Stadium | 24,000

THE TOP TEN
1. Northern Illinois looks to extend three streaks Saturday versus Buffalo - the Huskies have won five straight games, have an 18-game home win streak and have won 10 straight Mid-American Conference games.
2. NIU will celebrate its 106th Homecoming this weekend and boasts one of the oldest Homecoming celebrations in the nation.
3. Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in total offense, rushing and points responsible for.
4. With a 5-1 overall record, the Huskies are off to their best start since 2003 .
5. Saturday's home game with Buffalo marks the Huskies' lone home game of the month as NIU will play three of four games on the road in October.
6. NIU head coach Dave Doeren has a stellar 16-4 record in two seasons at the helm of the Huskie program.
7. Last week at Ball State, Northern Illinois engineered its third fourth-quarter comeback win of the season with two touchdowns in the last five minutes of the game to claim a 35-23 win in the battle for the Bronze Stalk.
8. A year ago, Northern Illinois avoided overtime at Buffalo when the UB kicker missed the game-tying PAT with 14 seconds on the clock.
9. Over the last 10 years, Northern Illinois is the winningest program in the Mid-American Conference (83-50, a 62.4 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.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois31
Buffalo30
October 22, 2011
Buffalo, N.Y.
Northern Illinois Ekes Out Road Win at Buffalo
Buffalo kicker Peter Fardon missed the extra point after Buffalo scored a touchdown with 14 seconds remaining, giving the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies a 31-30 victory over the Bulls Saturday at UB Stadium.

HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
2012 Record/MAC Record: 5-1/2-0
2011 Record/MAC Record/Finish: 11-3/7-1/T1st West
Head Coach: Dave Doeren
Record at NIU/Years: 16-4/2nd
Career Record/Years: 16-4/2nd
Alma Mater/Year: Drake/1994
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 528-464-51
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)
Starters Lost: 11 (7 offense, 4 defense, 0 specialists)

2012 NIU SCHEDULE & RESULTS

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

BULLS' FACTS
2012 Record/MAC Record: 1-4/0-2
2011 Record/MAC Record/Finish: 3-8/2-6/6th East
Head Coach: Jeff Quinn (Elmhurst/1984)
Record at Buffalo/Year: 6-23/3rd
Career Record/Year: 6-23/3rd
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Enrollment: 29,049
Conference: Mid-American
Colors: Blue and White
Stadium: UB Stadium
Surface/Capacity: Sportexe Momentum/29,048
President: Satish K. Tripathi
Athletic Director: Danny White
Athletics Website: www.buffalobulls.com
Twitter/Facebook: @UBathletics/Buffalo Bulls Athletics
Ticket Information: 1-877-UB-THERE

BUFFALO SCHEDULE & RESULTS

NIU-BUFFALO SERIES HISTORY
Overall: NIU leads 7-1
In DeKalb: NIU leads 4-1
In Buffalo: NIU leads 3-0
In MAC Games: NIU leads 6-0
Streak: Northern Illinois, 7
First Meeting: Nov. 9, 1968; Buffalo 20, NIU 7 (H)
Last Meeting: Oct. 22, 2011; NIU 31, Buffalo 30 (A)


THE LAST TIME

NIU HEAD COACH Dave Doeren

In two seasons as head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskies, Dave Doeren owns a 16-4 record for a winning percentage of .800. In Doeren's first year as a head coach, NIU won the school's first Mid-American Conference Championship since 1983, triumphed in the GoDaddy.com Bowl and closed 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. In addition, Northern Illinois has ranked in the top five in the nation in Academic Progress Rate (APR) in each of his two seasons with the Huskies.

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. Buffalo TV Broadcast
- The NIU-Buffalo game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Chicago throughout its four-state coverage area.
- Outside of the Comcast SportsNet Chicago area, the game can be seen as part of the ESPN GamePlan package.
- Online, access the game broadcast through NIUHuskies.com All-Access and ESPN3.com.
- Mike Leiderman will handle play-by-play, with Bob Chmiel as color analyst and Nicole Darin the sideline reporter.

NIU vs. Buffalo 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.)
- 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)
- Oct. 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
- The show airs Saturday mornings at 7:30 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).
- 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

NIU NEWS & NOTES

COMING HOME: Northern Illinois looks to extend its current winning streak to six games AND win its 19th consecutive game at Huskie Stadium when the Huskies play host to MAC East foe Buffalo Saturday. The game is also NIU's lone October home game as the Huskies play three of four games on the road this month.

HUSKIE HOMECOMING HISTORY: Northern Illinois celebrates its 106th Homecoming this weekend as the Huskies' annual celebration dates back to an alumni football game played on Oct. 10, 1903. NIU's Homecoming is the oldest major college alumni gathering in the state and the Huskies have one of the longest-celebrated Homecoming traditions in the country. All-time, Northern Illinois is 66-29-10 in its Homecoming football games and has won 13 of its last 14 games in front of the alums. In Huskie Stadium, NIU is 32-13-2 in homecoming games.

STREAKING THRU THE MAC: The Huskies currently own the longest conference winning streak in the country with 10 straight victories over Mid-American Conference opponents, dating back to the team's first MAC game a year ago at Central Michigan (Oct. 1, 2011). The Huskies' 10-game league winning streak includes the victory in the 2011 MAC Championship game over Ohio. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt) has the second-longest conference winning streak at eight games.

HUSKIES IN THE MAC: NIU is 109-90-2 all-time in MAC games with a 74-45 (.619) record since 1997. NIU has won 17 of its last 18 and 22 of its last 26 MAC regular season contests. The Huskies are in their 27th season as a member of the Mid-American Conference, and the 2012 season is NIU's 16th in the MAC since rejoining the league in 1997.

AGAINST THE EAST: Since the beginning of the 2005 season, Northern Illinois is 16-4 against Mid-American Conference East Division opponents in the regular season. The Huskies have won 11 of their last 12 regular season meetings with MAC East foes dating back to the 2008 season with the lone loss during that time a 38-31 Ohio victory in Athens on Nov. 21, 2009.

HAPPY AT HOME: Northern Illinois owns the third-longest home winning streak in the country at 18 games. LSU's 21-game streak is the nation's longest, followed by Wisconsin with 20 and NIU's 18. The Huskies have not lost a game in DeKalb since Sept. 26, 2009 when NIU dropped a 34-31 decision to Idaho. Northern Illinois also has won 13 straight Mid-American Conference games at home, dating to a 33-30 overtime loss to Central Michigan on Nov. 12, 2008.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: With a 43-11 record since 2003, NIU has raised its all-time record at Huskie Stadium to 149-97-2 for a .605 winning percentage. Northern Illinois is 62-38-1 (.619) all-time in home Mid-American Conference games with a 41-19 (.683) mark versus the league in Huskie Stadium since 1997.

FAR OUT: MAC outliers Buffalo and Northen Illinois meet for just the ninth time and for the seventh time as league opponents. NIU has won every MAC contest between the teams and has won seven straight games over the Bulls overall after losing the series opener in 1968 by a 20-7 score. The teams play for the third straight season in 2012.

STALK TALK: Last week, Northern Illinois claimed The Bronze Stalk for the fourth straight season with a 35-23 come-from-behind victory over Ball State in Muncie. After jumping out to a 14-3 lead, BSU scored 20 straight points to take a 23-14 lead at the 12:24 mark of the third quarter. From there, NIU used the running of quarterback Jordan Lynch and some timely stops by the Huskie defense to score the last 21 points of the game and claim its fifth straight win.

NARROW ESCAPE: A year ago in Buffalo, Northern Illinois escaped UB Stadium with a 31-30 victory to keep its MAC title hopes alive. The Huskies built a 31-10 lead before the Bulls stormed back with three fourth-quarter touchdowns and had a chance to tie the game with 14 seconds remaining. As NIU prepared for overtime, the extra point attempt went wide left. Northern Illinois took advantage of five Buffalo turnovers to build its lead.

NEW MARK: With a victory Saturday versus Buffalo, the 2012 senior class will win their 35th career game at Northern Illinois, tying the record held by the 2011 seniors. Last year's seniors set the record with the Huskies' win in the GoDaddy.com Bowl over Arkansas State. This year's senior group has a chance to tie the record in the season's sixth game.

COMEBACK-ABILITY: At Ball State, the Huskies once again displayed the resiliency and ability to come back from a fourth-quarter deficit that has become a trademark of the program under Dave Doeren. NIU trailed Ball State 23-21 entering the final period last week and scored 14 points in the final five minutes of the game to claim the eventual 12-point win. The come-from-behind win was NIU's third of the season. The Huskies trailed Kansas 23-13 with 14:33 to play and came back for a 30-23 victory on Sept. 22 at Huskie Stadium. 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 41-40 victory. The Huskies have come back to win in the fourth quarter in five of its last nine games, including versus Ball State and Ohio last year. (For a statistical look at NIU in the fourth quarter, see PDF.)

FASTER THAN YOU THINK: Quarterback Jordan Lynch, who Dave Doeren described in the preseason as "a linebacker" playing quarterback, has run like a tailback with five 100-yard rushing games, a 6.9 per carry average and nine rushing touchdowns in 2012. Lynch has scored on runs of 73 (Iowa), 88 (Army) and 71 (BSU) yards and added a 49-yard rush versus Central Michigan. He has surpassed the 100-yard mark in each of the last four games, topped by a career-high 207 yards on 29 carries with three TDs at Ball State. Lynch's yardage totals have gone up in each of his 100-yard games. He gained 119 yards versus Iowa, 125 at Army, 134 versus Kansas and 144 in the CMU game. The junior has seven career 100-yard rushing games.

MAKE IT THREE: Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch won his third MAC West Offensive Player of the Week Award after leading NIU to the comeback win over Ball State. Lynch rushed for a career high 207 yards on 29 carries and three TDs, and threw for 195 yards on 16-of-23 passing, including the game-winning, 54-yard score. He also won the MAC West Offensive Player Award following the Kansas and Army games. He led 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. Versus Army, Lynch passed for 342 yards - the seventh-most in school history - and rushed for 125 to total 467 all-purpose yards - the third-most all-time.

TRIPLE THREAT: Jordan Lynch is currently ranked in the Top 10 in the NCAA in three different categories and is in the top 40 in three others. After tallying his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the 2012 season with 207 yards at Ball State, Lynch is averaging 131.5 rushing yards per game to rank second (behind Michigan's Denard Robinson) among all NCAA FBS quarterbacks. Lynch's rankings:

  • Category Rank Average
  • Rushing 8th 131.50
  • Points Responsible For T5th 18.00
  • Total Offense 7th 340.67
  • Scoring T32nd 9.00
  • Passing Efficiency 40th 142.48
  • All-Purpose Runners 40th 131.50

SIX STRAIGHT: With Jordan Lynch's third selection as MAC West Offensive Player of the Week versus Ball State, a Northern Illinois player has claimed one of the MAC West awards every week this season. Sean Progar and Jimmie Ward were named the MAC West Defensive Player of the Weeks for the Iowa and UT Martin games, respectively. Kicker Mathew Sims picked up the Specialist honor for his performance versus Central Michigan. Overall, NIU's string of MAC Player of the Week honors is eight including the awards earned by Chandler Harnish (Ball State) and Sean Progar (Eastern Michigan) in the last two weeks of 2011.

SLIGHTLY SKEWED: Northern Illinois is currently ranked sixth in the Mid-American Conference in rushing defense as opponents are averaging 187.67 yards per game. However, take away Army's 486 yards on 86 carries, and the Huskies' opponents' rushing average drops to 128 yards per game, which would rank first in the MAC. Thanks in part to its game versus Army, NIU leads the MAC in pass efficiency defense, even after seeing 71 passes thrown for 434 yards by Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning Saturday.

RED ZONE D: Northern Illinois ranks 10th in the country in red zone defense with an efficiency rating of 65 percent. Huskie opponents have scored just nine touchdowns in 23 trips inside the NIU 20-yard line for a touchdown percentage of just 39 percent and have added six short field goals for a 15-of-23 overall mark. Last week, the Huskies defense held Ball State to just two touchdowns and two field goals on seven trips inside the 20.

GROUND GAME: In MAC play, the Northern Illinois ground game has been dominant as the Huskies have rushed for 721 yards on 107 carries in the last two games. NIU gained 407 yards rushing versus Central Michigan to tie for the 16th-highest single game total in school history. Versus CMU, both Leighton Settle (152) and Jordan Lynch (144) went over the 100-yard mark and NIU averaged 7.4 yards per rush. Powered by Lynch's 207 yards, the Huskies gained 314 rushing yards on 52 carries at Ball State. On the season, NIU is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and 245.7 yards per game on the ground with 20 touchdowns scored by seven different players.

NO EXPERIENCE, NO PROBLEM: Northern Illinois entered the 2012 season with a total of TWO returning starts on the offensive line as only junior guard Jared Volk, who was returning from a knee injury, had ever started a game for the Huskies. In six games, eight players are in the offensive line rotation for NIU, helping power a rushing attack that ranks 11th in the country and first in the MAC. The group consists of center Andrew Ness, guards Volk, Aidan Conlon, Tyler Pitt and Matthew Killian, and tackles Tyler Loos, Ryan Brown and Matt Krempel. There is not a senior in the bunch as Krempel is also a junior, Loos, Brown and Pitt are sophomores, and Killian, Conlon and Ness are redshirt freshmen.

SERVICE MAN: Senior tight end Jason Schepler, who has been recognized three times by Huskie coaches as one of the team's offensive players of the week, is 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, his return from injury has made a huge impact on the Huskie offense as his blocking has keyed Northern Illinois' rushing attack.

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 40 starts in 46 career games, Progar has 145 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss and 16.5 quarterback sacks in his NIU career.

SENIOR SCHOLAR: NIU senior defensive tackle Nabal Jefferson has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and one of 50 Football Bowl Subdivision candidates for one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards. Jefferson, an accountancy major with a 3.78 GPA, has played in 45 of 47 games for NIU on the defensive line since 2009 and has 114 career tackles with 17 tackles for loss. A two-year starter, he has been a member of the Huskies' Leadership Council since his sophomore year.

NEW NAMES: Twenty-four 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 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 (6): FB Ricky Connors, DT Donovan Gordon, LB Ryan Gorrell, DE Daniel Green, OT Tyler Loos*, OL Wes Ott

ONE FOR THE BONEYARD: With its win over Kansas on Sept. 22, Northern Illinois added 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 prior to 2012 was versus Minnesota on Sept. 25, 2010. (For the complete list, go to page seven of this release.)

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.

FIRST-TIME STARTERS: Fourteen Huskie players have made their first collegiate starts in 2012, a mark surpassed by only four other NCAA FBS teams. NIU has had six offensive linemen make their first starts and the current starting five (Loss, Brown, Ness, Conlon, Volk) enter the Buffalo game with 30 career starts. Of NIU's first-timers, 11 play offense.

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.

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.