Oct. 22, 2013
Watch Live on NIUTube ($)
GAME 8 - Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3) at No. 18 NIU Huskies (7-0, 3-0)
Oct. 26, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. (CT) | Comcast SportsNet Chicago/ESPN3 | DeKalb, Ill. | Huskie Stadium | 24,000
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (Chicago) | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM (DeKalb) | WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.)
The Last Meeting
November 23, 2012
Huskies Defeat Eagles, 49-7
Led by the one-two punch of Jordan Lynch and Akeem Daniels, NIU cruised to a 49-7 victory over Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium Friday afternoon.
^The Northern Illinois University Huskies debuted at No. 18 in the initial Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings of 2013 after a 38-17 victory over Central Michigan improved the Huskies' record to 7-0 on the season.
^NIU is ranked 22nd in this week's USA Today Coaches' Poll, 21st by the Harris Poll voters and is 23rd for the third consecutive week in the Associated Press rankings.
^NIU puts its school and MAC record streak of 23 consecutive home stadium victories on the line Saturday when the Huskies play host to MAC West foe Eastern Michigan in a 2:30 p.m. (CT) game.
^NIU has won five road games en route to its 7-0 record, the most road wins of any FBS team this season, and rank second in the country with a 13-game road winning streak.
^The Huskies have won 20 consecutive games versus Mid-American Conference opponents dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 and own the longest conference winning streak in the country.
^NIU is 41-8 since the start of the 2010 season and has won 28 of its last 30 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2011.
Rod Carey is 7-1 as NIU's head coach after making his head coaching debut in the 2013 Orange Bowl. He was NIU's offensive coordinator in the last 12 games of 2012 and offensive line coach for the past two years.
^NIU outscored Central Michigan 31-3 over the final three quarters behind the running of Jordan Lynch, who compiled an FBS quarterback record 316 rushing yards on 32 carries with three rushing touchdowns.
^The Huskie defense held CMU to 97 offensive yards in the second half and to just 75 rushing yards in the game.
^NIU defeated Iowa and Purdue in non-conference play to become the first MAC team to defeat two Big Ten teams in the regular season; the Huskies' 55 points at Purdue are the most points ever scored by a league team versus a Big Ten foe.
Jordan Lynch FOR 6
NIU Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch
set the NCAA single game record for most rushing yards by a FBS quarterback with 316 yards on 32 carries at Central Michigan. Lynch, the 10th player in FBS history to run for more than 3,000 and pass for more than 4,000 yards, was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. He added 155 passing yards on 20-of-30 passing for 471 yards of total offense and was responsible for four TDs (three rushing, one passing). See Lynch's bio in this release, and check out his highlights and "Lunch with Lynch" webisodes online at www.LynchFor6.com
. Follow @LynchFor6 on Twitter for daily #LynchLines (fact of the day).
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: 7-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 542-465-51
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
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
EMU EAGLES' FACTS
2013 Record/Conference Record: 1-6/0-3
2012 Record/Conf, Record/Finish: 2-10/1-7 T6th West
Head Coach (Alma Mater/Yr): Ron English (California/'90)
Record at EMU & Career/Years: 11-44/5th
Location: Ypsilanti, Mich.
Colors: Green & White
Stadium: Rynearson Stadium
President: Dr. Susan W. Martin
Athletic Director: Heather Lyke
Athletics Website: www.emueagles.com
Twitter/Facebook: @EMUAthletics/Eastern Michigan Athletics
EMU 2013 SCHEDULE & RESULTS
NIU-EMU SERIES HISTORY
Overall: NIU leads 27-14-2
In DeKalb: NIU leads 14-7-1
In Ypsilanti: NIU leads 13-7-1
In MAC Games: NIU leads 18-4-2
Streak: NIU, 5
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 NIU-EMU GAME ON CSN CHICAGO/ESPN3
-- Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air the NIU-Eastern Michigan live throughout its four-state coverage area.
-- Outside of the CSN Chicago area, the game can be seen as part of the ESPN GamePlan package.
-- Online, access the game broadcast through ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app (blacked out in certain areas).
-- Mike Couzens will handle play-by-play, with Bob Chmiel as color analyst.
-- For more information, go to www.espn3.com and click on FAQ; check NIU's GameDay Central for the link.
HUSKIES-EAGLES ON RADIO
-- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff.
-- NIU network affiliates that will carry the CMU game are WLBK 1360 AM and 98.9 FM (DeKalb), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.) and WSCR AM 670 (Chicago) and online on NIUTube at NIUHuskies.com.
-- 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.
-- "NIU Weekly" is a 30-minute show highlighting the best of Huskie Athletics hosted by Andy Garcia and Assoc. Vice-President/Athletic Director Sean Frazier.
-- The show airs on WSCR AM 670 The Score in Chicago Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. and at 6:30 p.m. Friday nights on WLBK 1360 AM/98.9 FM in DeKalb.
-- Hear from football head coach Rod Carey, and other NIU head coaches.
-- "Inside Huskie Football" is a live show featuring the Voice of the Huskies Bill Baker, NIU Head Coach Rod Carey and two NIU players.
-- The show airs Mondays from 7-8 p.m. on WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on WTJK 1380 AM in Janesville, Wis.
-- Fans are invited to "Inside Huskie Football" at Cabana Charley's Tiki Bar & Grill on Peace Rd. in Sycamore.
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.
-- 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
#ROUND THREE: No. 23/22 NIU plays at home for just the third time in 2013 when the Huskies play host to Eastern Michigan Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Huskie Stadium.
#OPEN HOUSE: Prior to Saturday's game, Northern Illinois University will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for its new practice facility, the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center. Fans will be invited to walk through the Barsema Hall of Champions and the 120-yard practice field, find their personalized bricks in the Yordon Family Huskie Pride Plaza and check out the new statue of the three heroic-sized Huskies outside the main entrance to the facility. A brief ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. with the facility open between Noon-2 p.m.
#A PERFECT 10: NIU is one of 10 undefeated teams in FBS and is the only MAC school left with an unblemished record. The undefeated list includes two teams each from the SEC (Alabama and Missouri), Big XII (Baylor and Texas Tech), and ACC (Florida State and Miami), as well as the PAC-12's Oregon, Ohio State of the Big Ten, Fresno State from the Mountain West, and NIU.
#HOME SWEET HOME: NIU has won a school and Mid-American Conference record 23 consecutive games at Huskie Stadium and owns the longest winning streak by a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team in its home 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 at home.
#MAC STREAKING: The Huskies extended the longest conference winning streak in the nation to 20 games with its win at Central Michigan Saturday. CMU was the last MAC team to defeat the Huskies as they claimed a 48-41 victory in the Huskies' 2011 league opener in Mt. Pleasant. NIU went on to win 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. NIU is 3-0 in the MAC so far this season.
#BACK IN THE BCS (RANKINGS): NIU holds down the No. 18 spot in the initial Bowl Championship Series Rankings for 2013. Two of the computer rankings used to compute the BCS Standings have the Huskies ranked in the top 10, including the Sagarin Ratings, which have NIU fifth. In the human polls, the Huskies moved up one spot - to No. 22 - in the USA Today Coaches Poll and were No. 21 in the Harris Interactive Poll. NIU remains at No. 23 in the Associated Press Poll for the third straight week. The Huskies gained 35 points in the AP Poll and were up 74 points from a week ago in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. NIU is ranked for the third time in the last four seasons.
#TIED AT THE TOP: NIU's 17-man senior class has tied the 2012 seniors as the winningest class in Northern Illinois University football history. Since 2010, the 2013 seniors have 41 wins with 11 in both 2010 and 2011, 12 a year ago and seven so far in 2013. They own a winning percentage of .837 with an overall record of 41-8 and are a perfect 19-0 at home. The 2012 seniors were 41-13 (.759) between 2009-2012; they took the winningest senior class mantle from the 2011 group, which went 35-19 for a percentage of .648. Both the 2011 and 2012 seniors' final years included MAC Championships.
#THE SENIOR CLASS: The Huskies 2013 roster includes 17 seniors. Of the 12 defensive seniors, seven play on the NIU defensive line: 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.
#HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: With a 48-11 record since 2003, Northern Illinois has raised its all-time record at Huskie Stadium to 154-97-2 for a .613 winning percentage. Five of NIU's 11 home losses since 2003 occurred in 2007. Since 2007, the Huskies are 27-3 playing at Huskie Stadium.
#MAC AT HOME: Northern Illinois is 66-38-1 (.633) all-time in home Mid-American Conference games with a 45-19 (.703) mark versus the league in Huskie Stadium since rejoining the league in 1997. NIU has won 17 consecutive MAC games at Huskie Stadium over the last four seasons. Central Michigan was the last league team to defeat NIU in a 33-30 overtime win on Nov. 12, 2008.
#HUSKIES IN THE MAC: NIU is 118-90-2 (.567) all-time in MAC games with an 82-45 (.646) record in Mid-American Conference play since 1997. The Huskies have won 25 of their last 26 and 30 of their last 34 MAC regular season contests. Northern Illinois is in its 28th season as a member of the league in 2013-14; this season is NIU's 17th in the MAC since rejoining the league in 1997.
#ROAD STREAKING: NIU's 13-game winning streak in road games ranks as the second-longest in the country behind Oregon's 18 straight. The Huskies are the only team in the country that has won five road games this season. NIU's last road loss was at Central Michigan on Oct. 1, 2011.
#EVERY YEAR: Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan will meet for the 16th consecutive season, every year since the Huskies rejoined the MAC in 1997. In 43 all-time games, NIU owns a 27-14-2 lead. The Huskies have won 18 of the 24 games the teams have played as league foes and 11 of the last 12 contests. NIU is 14-7-1 versus Eastern Michigan at home, although the Eagles' last win over Northern Illinois was a 21-19 victory at Huskie Stadium in 2007. In the last meeting in DeKalb, NIU claimed a narrow 18-12 win that was not decided until the Huskies knocked down an EMU pass in the red zone in the final minutes.
#FREQUENT FOE: Eastern Michigan is one of the oldest and most frequent opponents on the Huskies' football schedule as the teams will play for the 44th time in 2013. In 110 years of intercollegiate football, NIU has played only Central Michigan (49 games) and Illinois State (56) more often.
#IN SEARCH OF: With a 7-0 record, this year's NIU team has matched the 2003 Huskies for the best start by a Northern Illinois squad as an FBS program. The 2003 team, which entered its eighth game ranked 10th in the BCS Rankings, dropped a 34-18 decision at Bowling Green to fall to 7-1. The last time a Huskie team started better than 7-0 was in 1965 when that team went 9-0 in the regular season before losing the Mineral Water Bowl game to North Dakota.
#NO HOMECOMING: For the first time in five weeks, NIU is NOT playing in a homecoming game this Saturday. Northern Illinois is 4-0 in Homecoming games this year, having spoiled the Homecoming celebrations of its last three road foes (Purdue, Kent State, Central Michigan) while winning its own Homecoming contest on Oct. 12.
#BOWL ELIGIBLE, AGAIN: NIU's 27-20 win over Akron on Oct. 12 gave the Huskies their sixth victory of the season, marking the 12th time in the last 13 seasons since 2000 that NIU has won at least six games. NIU now has been bowl eligible for six straight years and the Huskies have played in a bowl game in each of the last five seasons, a school-record streak.
#QUITE A RUSH: The Huskies are coming off a 38-17 win at Central Michigan that was one of the team's most complete victories of the season. Offensively, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch enjoyed a record-breaking day (see below) as the Huskies tallied 592 yards, 437 rushing, and averaged 7.1 yards per play. The NIU defense held CMU to 75 rushing yards in the game and just three points over the final three periods.
#27-FOR-28: With at least a touchdown in every quarter versus CMU, Northern Illinois has scored in 27 of 28 quarters this season. NIU had a string of 21 straight quarters with a score snapped in the second period versus Akron. The Huskies have been held to three points in a quarter only twice with at least six points in every other period. NIU has tallied at least 64 points in every quarter with a season-best 76 points in the second period and 72 in the third, which is also the lowest scoring quarter for Huskie opponents. Northern Illinois has given up only 20 points in the third quarter this season.
#RUN FOR THE RECORD: NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch added another NCAA and NIU record to his collection at Central Michigan with 316 rushing yards on 32 carries, breaking the FBS mark for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback. Lynch broke the mark previously owned by Huskie signal-caller Stacey Robinson, who ran for 308 yards in a 73-18 NIU win over Fresno State on Oct. 6, 1990. Lynch also scored three rushing touchdowns and averaged 9.9 yards per rush at Central Michigan. He gained 232 yards on 18 carries in the second half and his day included runs of 28, 40, 40 and 49 yards. Lynch recorded the sixth 300-yard rushing day in NIU history and he is the fourth Huskie to surpass the 300-yard plateau. His rushing total ranks fourth at NIU all-time.
#TOP RUSHER: Jordan Lynch posted the top rushing day in the country this year with his 316 yards on the ground at Central Michigan and he also now leads all active FBS players with 3,355 career rushing yards. Lynch's 17 100-yard rushing games, including three in 2013, also lead all active players. His career average of 6.6 yards per rush ranks fourth among active players.
#15 YARDS APART: Comparing Jordan Lynch's numbers through seven games in 2012 and 2013 show that the difference is just 15 total yards. Lynch has run for 14 more yards (932 to 918) than a year ago while the difference in passing yards is just one (1,488 to 1,487). Lynch has 56 more plays (363-307) than a year ago with nine additional rushes, 47 more passes and 29 more completions. Lynch is responsible for 21 touchdowns in 2013 (7 rushing, 14 passing) compared to 22 a year ago (11, 11).
#ALL ABOUT THE RUN: Over the years, NIU built a reputation as a rushing powerhouse based on the exploits of backs like LeShon Johnson, Michael Turner, Garrett Wolfe, Chad Spann and more. Add quarterbacks who bring the ability to pick up chunks of yardage on the ground like Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch, and it's clear the ground game is still a critical part of the Huskies' offensive success. In 2013, NIU has run for 350-or-more yards in four of its seven games (Idaho, Eastern Illinois, Kent State, Central Michigan), has had 100-yard rushing games by three different players (Cameron Stingily, Jordan Lynch, Tommylee Lewis) with a 200-yard game (by Stingily) and a 300-yard day (Lynch). NIU ranks fourth nationally in rushing with an average of 304.7 yards per game.
#TURNOVER TALK: NIU kept its streak of games forcing a turnover alive at Central Michigan as senior cornerback Jhony Faustin recorded the Huskies' 11th interception of the year and recorded the seventh NIU fumble recovery of the season. NIU has forced at least one turnover in every game this season. Northern Illinois needs only four interceptions to match its 2012 total. The Huskies rank 12th in the country in turnover margin and are plus eight in turnovers on the season.
#BALL HAWK: NIU safety Jimmie Ward remains atop the NCAA chart for interceptions with five on the year. The senior had a string of four straight games with an interception snapped at CMU. Ward leads the nation in pickoffs, along with Steven Nelson of Oregon State. He has intercepted passes versus Iowa, Eastern Illinois, Purdue, Kent State and Akron. He recovered a fumble at Kent State, and returned his interception at Purdue 62 yards for a touchdown. The safety from Mobile, Ala. set up the Huskies' game-winning field goal at Iowa by intercepting Iowa QB Jake Rudock with 1:17 to play. His 55 tackles and 36 solo stops lead NIU.
#MAN IN THE MIDDLE: NIU defensive tackle Ken Bishop has a fan in Akron Head Coach Terry Bowden. Asked about Bishop after the 6-1, 308-pound Huskie senior effectively stopped the Zips running game with six tackles, five solo and one for loss, Bowden said ""I don't think there's a better defensive player in the league than No. 93 (Ken Bishop). He's the best. He's a difference maker. He's got incredible strength and explosion. Whether it's against Iowa or us, he has the ability to stick a hand in somebody's chest and just drive them back. Then he separates with great quickness. He's got the whole package." Bishop leads all NIU defensive linemen with 33 tackles, 18 solo.
#TALE OF TWO HALVES: Statistically, the NIU defense is holding its opponents to 63 fewer yards in the second half of the Huskies' games this season. Opponents are averaging 253.7 total yards in the first half compared to 190.1 after halftime. The Huskies have given up less than 50 rushing yards in six different halves this year with the last two opponents totalling 110 (Akron) and 75 (CMU) rushing yards. NIU has also allowed fewer passing yards in the second halves of four games on the season. The biggest disparity between opponents' first and second halves came last week in Mt. Pleasant when CMU had 249 yards of offense in the first half but just 97 after halftime.
#STINGILY AND THE YAC: According to NIU coaches', an amazing 74 percent of tailback Cameron Stingily's rushing yards (538 of 726) have come after the first contact with a defender. Approximately 4.0 of his 5.5 yards per rush are "YAC" (Yards After Contact). In the Kent State game, where Stingily gashed the Flashes for 266 yards on 37 carries, Stingily totaled 195 YAC yards, an average of an extra 5.3 yards after the first hit. Versus Akron, 65 of his 80 yards came after contact.
#NO FUN: Eastern Illinois Head Coach Dino Babers said it best when talking about tackling Cameron Stingily, who gained 134 yards on 21 carries versus the Panthers. "That guy's a bull," Babers said. "That [tackling him] 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."
#SENIOR-LESS: NIU does not have a single (active) senior wide receiver, running back, fullback or tight end on the roster in 2013. All 139 of the passes completed by Huskie quarterbacks have gone to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The juniors have carried the bulk of the load as Tommylee Lewis (50 catches) and Da'Ron Brown (30) have combined for 80 catches for 842 of NIU's 1,506 receiving yards (56 percent). Fourteen players - three tailbacks, seven receivers, a fullback and three tight ends - have caught passes.
#FROSH FACES: Seven true freshmen now have seen action this year for the Huskies after the addition of running back Draco Smith to the list versus Central Michigan. Linebackers Sean Folliard and Jamaal Payton, wide receivers Aregeros Turner and Chad Beebe, safety Mycial Allen and defensive end Austin Smaha are the other freshmen to play in 2013.
#TOP SCHOLAR-ATHLETE: NIU senior offensive tackle Matt Krempel is one of only 54 nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards. Presented to the top 16 football student-athletes across all divisions of college football, the NFF awards an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship to the winners with one individual selected to receive the William V. Campbell Trophy. Krempel is a three-year letterwinner who graduated in May 2012 with a 3.59 GPA in pre-physical therapy and is pursuing a degree in kinesiology and physical education. NIU is the only school in the country to have an NFF Scholar-Athlete Award in each of the last two seasons (Chandler Harnish, 2011; Nabal Jefferson, 2012).
#B1G BUSTER: After defeating both Iowa (30-27) and Purdue (55-24) during the non-conference schedule, NIU is 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 a regular 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.