Oct. 29, 2013
GAME 9 - No. 17 NIU Huskies (8-0, 4-0) at UMass Minutemen (1-7, 1-3)
Nov. 2, 2013 | 11 a.m. (CT) | ESPN Regional | Foxboro, Mass. | Gillette Stadium | 68,756
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (Chicago) | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM (DeKalb) | WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.)
HUSKIE BITES - TOP NIU NOTES TO KNOW
^The Northern Illinois University Huskies moved up to No. 17 in this week's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings after a well-rounded 59-20 victory over Eastern Michigan improved the Huskies' record to 8-0 on the season.
The Last Meeting
November 3, 2012
Huskies Cruise Past UMass 63-0
The Northern Illinois football team shutout Massachusetts 63-0 on Saturday afternoon at Huskie Stadium to improve to 9-1, 6-0 in Mid-American Conference play, and extend its winning streaks to 20 at home, 14 in conference competition and nine overall. Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch led the way by going 15-for-19 with 191 yards and two touchdowns through the air and amassing 157 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown on the ground. The loss dropped UMass to 0-9, 0-5 in MAC play.
^NIU rose in all three polls this week, moving up two spots to 20th in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, up one spot to No. 20 in the Harris Poll and is 21st in the Associated Press rankings.
^The Huskies' start is the school's best since NIU entered the "Major College" ranks in 1969, and is NIU's best start to a season since the 1965 team posted a 9-0 regular season record before losing the Mineral Water Bowl.
^NIU has won MORE ROAD GAMES than any other FBS team this season; the Huskies' 14-game road winning streak ranks second in the country.
^The Huskies have won 21 consecutive games versus Mid-American Conference opponents dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 and own the longest conference winning streak in the country.
^Northern Illinois' 2013 senior class won its 42nd game (in four seasons) last weekend to unseat its 2012 predecessors as the winningest senior class in school history.
^NIU is 42-8 since the start of the 2010 season and has won 29 of its last 31 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2011
^NIU leads the nation with 24 consecutive victories in its home stadium dating back to 2009. The 2013 seniors have never lost a home game.
^Rod Carey is 8-1 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.
^Huskie safety Jimmie Ward
was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's top defensive back. He is the first NIU player ever to be named a Thorpe semifinalist.
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: 8-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 543-465-51
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
Jordan Lynch FOR 6
Another week, another record-setting game by NIU Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch. After setting the NCAA single game record for most rushing yards by a FBS quarterback with 316 yards on 32 carries at CMU, Lynch became the second FBS player in the last 10 years to catch a touchdown pass, run for a TD and pass for four scores in the same game with his six TD performance versus Eastern Michigan. He became the ninth player in FBS history to run for more than 3,000 and pass for more than 5,000 yards. 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).
Web: NIUHuskies.com; JordanLynchfor6.com
Twitter: @NIUAthletics, @Lynchfor6, @PrideinthePack, @NIUscores
Facebook: NIU Huskies, Northern Illinois Football
NIU 2013 SCHEDULE
UMASS MINUTEMEN FACTS
2013 Record/Conference Record: 1-7/1-3
2012 Record/Conf, Record/Finish: 1-11/1-7 6th East
Head Coach (Alma Mater/Yr): Charley Molnar (Lock Haven/'84)
Record at UMass & Career/Years: 2-18/2nd
Location: Amherst, Mass.
Colors: Maroon & White
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
President: Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy
Athletic Director: John McCutcheon
Athletics Website: www.UMassAthletics.com
Twitter/Facebook: @UMassAthletics/Sam the Minuteman
UMASS 2013 SCHEDULE
NIU-UMASS SERIES HISTORY
Overall: NIU leads 1-0
In DeKalb: NIU leads 1-0
In Foxboro: First Meeting
In MAC Games: NIU leads 1-0
Streak: NIU, 1
Series History - 2012: NIU 63, UM 0 (H)
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 University, was named the school's 22nd head football coach 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 head coach, the Huskies made history as the first Mid-American Conference team invited to a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game. Carey coached NIU in the Discover Orange Bowl game, a 31-10 loss to Florida State. This season, Carey has led NIU to a perfect 8-0 record and a No. 17 BCS National Ranking. Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch leads one of the top offenses in the nation. The Huskies' five road wins so far in 2013 lead the country. 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. In the midst of replacing five starters on the offensive line Carey assumed offensive coordinator duties after the season opener. In his first season at NIU, Carey mentored All-Americans in center Scott Wedige and left tackle Trevor Olson, and three all-MAC players. A three-year starter at center for Indiana, Carey served as a team captain and won the Corby Davis Outstanding Offensive Player Award as a senior, playing for former NIU head coach Bill Mallory. He earned his bachelor's degree from IU in 1994. Carey came to NIU after three seasons as the offensive line coach at 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 the 1999 Sun Bowl. Prior to UM, he spent four seasons at his alma mater, Wayzata (Minn.) High School, from 1994-97. Carey and his wife Tonya are the parents of daughter Kennedi (8) and son Charlie (6).
FOLLOW THE HUSKIES
The Redesigned NIUHuskies.com
- Launched on August 29, the redesigned NIUHuskies.com features a larger video player, a social media hub on the front page, and clear links to tickets, promotions and fan information.
- Visit GameDay Central for all your NIU Football game informations.
ESPN Regional/ESPN3 to Televise NIU-UMASS
- ESPN Regional will air the NIU-UMass game live to a syndicated network in 15 (primarily) Midwest markets.
- Locally WPWR MyNetworkTV Chicago and WTVO DT2 MyNetwork TV Rockford will air the Huskies' game.
- Online, access the game broadcast through ESPN3 (may be blacked out in certain areas).
- Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play on the broadcast, with Doug Graber as color analyst.
- The game can be seen nationwide via ESPN GamePlan.
Huskies-Minutemen on Radio
- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 10:30 a.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff.
- NIU network affiliates that will carry the UMass 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 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 Associate 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 more.
- 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
NOTHING NEW: With more road wins (5) than any team in the country this season, Northern Illinois returns to a familiar routine this weekend with its trip to UMass. The Huskies and Minutemen kickoff at 11 a.m. (CT) from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
BEST START: With its win over Eastern Michigan last week, the 2013 Huskies surpassed their 2003 counterparts to post 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 8-0 was in 1965 when that team went 9-0 in the regular season before losing the Mineral Water Bowl game to North Dakota.
HUSKIES AND THE RANKINGS: NIU moved up to No. 17 in this week's Bowl Championship Series Rankings with an average of .3335, three-tenths of a point behind No. 16 Fresno State (.3669). 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 third. In the BCS calculations, the highest and lowest computer rankings are dropped. This week, the Huskies gained 70 points in the AP Poll (which does not count in the BCS Rankings), and were up 149 points in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and 132 points in the Harris Poll. NIU is ranked for the third time in the last four seasons.
THEY'RE NUMBER ONE: For the third consecutive season, NIU's seniors have claimed the title of winningest class in school history. With the Huskies' win over Eastern Michigan, the 2013 seniors unseated the 2012 group atop the wins list with 42 career victories. The 2013 seniors contributed to teams that won 11 games in both 2010 and 2011, 12 a year ago and eight so far in 2013. They own a winning percentage of .840 with an overall record of 42-8 and are a perfect 20-0 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, six are defensive linemen: George Rainey, Ken Bishop, Joe Windsor, Stephen O'Neal, Anthony Wells and Zach Anderson. At defensive back, Jimmie Ward, Jhony Faustin, Sean Evans and Dominique Ware are the backbone of the Huskies' secondary. NIU 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.
THE GREAT EIGHT: The Huskies are one of just eight undefeated teams left in FBS. The undefeated list includes two teams from the ACC (Florida State and Miami, who meet this weekend), as well as Alabama (SEC), Baylor (Big XII), Oregon (PAC 12), Ohio State (Big Ten), Fresno State (Mountain West) and NIU.
MAC STREAKING: The Huskies have won 21 consecutive games versus Mid-American Conference opponents and own the longest conference winning streak in the nation. Central Michigan was the last MAC team to defeat the Huskies as they claimed a 48-41 victory in NIU's 2011 league opener in Mt. Pleasant. NIU won the remainder of its MAC games in 2011, as well as the title game, then swept through conference play in 2012 before defeating Kent State in Detroit.
HUSKIES IN THE MAC: NIU is 119-90-2 (.569) all-time in MAC games with an 83-45 (.648) record in Mid-American Conference play since 1997. The Huskies have won 26 of their last 27 and 31 of their last 35 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.
MAC ROAD RECORD: All-time, Northern Illinois is 52-52-1 (.500) in 105 Mid-American Conference road games. The Huskies have won 70.4 percent (31 of 44) of their MAC road games since 2002 and are 38-26 (.594) on the road versus league teams since rejoining the MAC 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 LEAD THE NATION with five road victories this season. NIU's last road loss was at Central Michigan on Oct. 1, 2011.
SECONDS: NIU and UMass meet for just the second time with the first game between the teams played a year ago in DeKalb, a 63-0 Huskie win. The Minutemen are in their second season as a member of the league and their second season as an FBS school.
PRO VENUES: The Huskies are no stranger to NFL stadiums. Saturday's game against UMass in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro will mark the seventh time the Huskies have played in an NFL stadium since the start of the 2010 season. NIU has played in four different stadiums - Detroit's Ford Field (2010, 2011 and 2012), Chicago's Soldier Field (2011, 2012), Miami's Sun Life Stadium (2012) and now New England's Gillette Stadium (2013). The Huskies could include a fifth pro venue in Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, which hosted the Minnesota Vikings for one game in 2010 and will be the temporary home of the Vikings in 2014 and 2015.
RENEWING A BOND: UMass offensive coordinator/QB coach John Bond is no stranger to the Huskies. Bond, who is in his first year with the Minutemen, held the same position with the Huskies from 2004-06 and helped guide NIU to bowl appearances in 2004 (Silicon Valley) and 2006 (Poinsettia), in addition to a MAC West title in 2005, under head coach Joe Novak. During his three seasons in DeKalb, Garrett Wolfe led the nation in rushing in 2006, ranked second in 2005 and fifth in 2004.
HOME SWEET HOME: NIU extended its school and Mid-American Conference record home winning streak to 24 games. The Huskies own the longest winning streak by a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team in its home stadium. NIU's last loss in DeKalb occurred 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.
ANOTHER FIRST: Jordan Lynch and Tommylee Lewis teamed up for another "first" Saturday versus Eastern Michigan. With 11:58 to play in the second quarter, Lewis took a handoff from Lynch, then lofted a pass BACK to the NIU QB, who had drifted out to the left side. Lynch made the catch at the nine-yard line, then leaped through/over three EMU defenders and over into the end zone for his FIRST career reception and first career receiving touchdown. It was also Lewis' first career pass attempt and touchdown throw.
THROWBACK?: The COMPLETE list of Jordan Lynch's career stats harkens back to the days of two-way players who dominated the college game in the 1950s and 1960s. Lynch's list includes categories for rushing (526-3,454), passing (410-665, 5,028), total offense (1,191-8,482), receiving (1-17), scoring (34 TDs), all-purpose yards (3,471), punting (3-138) and tackles (2).
RECORD RUSHING DAY: 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 single game rushing yards 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 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 with a 300-yard game.
ACTIVE LEADER: Jordan Lynch posted the top rushing day in the country this year with 316 yards on the ground at Central Michigan and he leads all active FBS players with 3,454 career rushing yards. Lynch's 17 100-yard rushing games, including three in 2013, also is tied for the lead among active players. His career average of 6.6 yards per rush ranks third and his 33 rushing TDs are tied for fifth. In less than two full seasons as a starter, Lynch's 8,482 yards of total offense ranks 16th among active players.
17 YARDS: Through eight games, the difference in Jordan Lynch's total yards from 2012 to 2013 is just 17 yards. To date, Lynch has run for 18 less yards (1,049 in 2012 to 1,031 this year) while he has passed for one more yard (1,710 to 1,711) than he did a year ago. Lynch does have 41 more plays (401 to 360) than a year ago with seven additional rushes, 34 more passes and 25 more completions. With 27 touchdowns responsible for in 2013, Lynch's 2013 total is one more (or the difference of one receiving score) than at the same time last year.
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 and Chad Spann. 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 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 sixth nationally in rushing with an average of 307.5 yards per game.
SEMIFINALIST: NIU safety Jimmie Ward, who remains tied for the national lead in interceptions with five, is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's top defensive back. Ward, who was named to SI.com's Midseason All-America team, is the first Huskie player to be named a Thorpe Award semifinalist. The senior had a string of four straight games with an interception snapped at CMU. 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. He leads NIU with 56 tackles, including 36 solo stops.
31-FOR-32: NIU put up at least a touchdown in every quarter of the Eastern Michigan game and has now scored at least once in 31 of 32 quarters this year. NIU had a string of 21 straight quarters with a score snapped in the second period versus Akron, but has now put points on the board in 10 straight quarters. The Huskies have been held to three points in a quarter only twice with at least six points in every other period this season. On the year, NIU has scored at least 85 points in every quarter with a season-best 93 points in the second period. On the other side, NIU has held its opponents to just 30 third-quarter points in eight games this season, the opponents' lowest scoring quarter.
ALL-PURPOSE: The term might as well have been invented for Huskie speedster Tommylee Lewis. The 5-7 Floridian leads NIU and the MAC in catches per game (7.3) and has 58 catches on the season, surpassing his 2012 total. He ranks third on the Huskie team in rushing yards with 272 on just 19 carries and is averaging 14.3 yards per carry. Lewis is NIU's top kickoff returner with 10 for 280 yards, including a 99-yard kickoff return score at Purdue. He rushed for 104 yards at Idaho and had his first career 100-yard receiving day versus Eastern Michigan with 107 yards. Lewis has also returned three six punts for 22 yards and threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lynch vs. EMU on his first career pass attempt. After rushing for 81 yards on four carries, including a career-long 54-yard run, and tallying 107 receiving yards on eight catches plus the TD pass, Lewis was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Oct. 28. The junior is averaging 135.1 all-purpose yards per game, second in the league and 23rd in the nation, is 15th nationally in catches per game and 16th in the FBS in kickoff returns.
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.
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 35 tackles, 20 solo.
RESPECTING THE PROTECTING: Through eight games, the Huskie offensive line, tight ends and running backs have collectively given up just four quarterback sacks. They share the national lead in fewest sacks allowed while helping power NIU's fifth-ranked total offense. NIU is averaging 537.1 yards per game, ranks sixth in rushing offense and is 11th in scoring offense. The Huskies have used a seven-man rotation on the line composed of senior Jared Volk (LG), juniors Tyler Loos (LT) and Ryan Brown (RT) and sophomores Andrew Ness (C) and Aidan Conlon (RG). Matt Krempel rotates in at tackle, while junior Tyler Pitt is the Huskies' third guard.
STINGILY AND THE YAC: According to the 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 Cameron Stingily after the NIU junior 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."
BIG DAY FOR THE ROOKIES: With the debut of Aurora product Joel Bouagnon at tailback last week versus Eastern Michigan, eight true freshmen have seen action this year for the Huskies. Bouagnon, playing in place of the injured Cameron Stingily, ran for 35 yards on 10 carries and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass. Fellow freshman Draco Smith, who saw his first playing time a week earlier at CMU, recorded a career-long 51-yard run and finished with two carries for 48 yards, and receiver Aregeros Turner ran for 24 yards on a pair of totes. Versus EMU, rookie linebacker Sean Folliard led NIU in tackles with six, fellow frosh LB Jamaal Payton had five stops and safety Mycial Allen made four tackles with a pass break-up. Defensive end Austin Smaha and receiver Chad Beebe also have seen action in 2013.
TOP SCHOLAR-ATHLETE: NIU senior offensive tackle Matt Krempel is one of only 54 FBS nominees 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.