Huskies and Toledo Meet for the MAC West
Nov. 8, 2012
Northern Illinois Football 2012
NIU QUARTERBACK Jordan Lynch
HUSKIE FOOTBALL FACTS
NORTHERN ILLINOIS FACTS
NIU-TOLEDO SERIES HISTORY
NORTHERN ILLINOIS HEAD COACH Dave Doeren
In two seasons as head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskies, Dave Doeren owns a 20-4 record for a winning percentage of .833. 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.
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NIU NEWS & NOTES
HIGH STAKES HOME FINALE: Northern Illinois plays its final home game of 2012 when the Huskies play host to MAC West rival Toledo. With a win, NIU will win the Mid-American Conference West Division for the third straight season and secure its third consecutive appearance in the MAC Championship game.
WINNINGEST CLASS: With each victory, Northern Illinois' 2012 seniors are adding to their status as the winningest senior class in NIU history. The 2012 senior class unseated their 2011 counterparts as the school's winningest group ever with NIU's win at Akron. Since 2009, this year's senior class has been a part of 38 Huskie wins and posted a 38-13 (.745) record. At home, Northern Illinois senior class is an incredible 21-1 over the past four years with their only loss to Idaho in Sept. 2009. See page four for more on NIU's seniors.
NATION'S BEST: Northern Illinois is back home where the Huskies own the longest home winning streak in the country at 20 games. NIU has kept its streak alive with five wins at Huskie Stadium in 2012, while the home win streaks of Wisconsin and LSU have fallen by the wayside. The Huskies have not lost a game in DeKalb since Sept. 26, 2009, when Idaho claimed a 34-31 win. Northern Illinois also has won 15 straight Mid-American Conference games at home, dating to a 33-30 overtime loss to Central Michigan on Nov. 12, 2008.
BEST MARK: Northern Illinois' 9-1 record through 10 games matches the 2003 Huskie team as the best posted by any NIU team in its major college history (since 1969). The last Northern Illinois team to open a season with a better record was the 1965 squad that went 9-0 in the regular season before falling to North Dakota in the Mineral Water Bowl.
STREAKING THRU THE MAC: The Huskies currently own the longest conference winning streak in the country with 14 straight victories over Mid-American Conference opponents, dating back to the Huskies' first MAC game a year ago at Central Michigan (Oct. 1, 2011). NIU's MAC winning streak includes its win over Ohio in the 2011 MAC Championship game.
BOWL ELIGIBLE: Northern Illinois is bowl-eligible for the fifth straight season and will extend the longest bowl streak in Huskie history in 2012. NIU has ended the last four seasons at bowl games with appearances in the Independence (2008), International (2009), Humanitarian (2010) and GoDaddy.com (2011) bowls.
HUSKIES IN THE MAC: NIU is 114-90-2 all-time in MAC games with a 78-45 (.634) record since 1997. The Huskies have won 21 of their last 22 and 26 of their last 30 MAC regular season contests. Northern Illinois is in its 27th season as a member of the Mid-American Conference; the 2012 season is NIU's 16th in the MAC since rejoining the league in 1997.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: With a 45-11 record since 2003, NIU has raised its all-time record at Huskie Stadium to 151-97-2 for a .608 winning percentage. Northern Illinois is 64-38-1 (.626) all-time in home Mid-American Conference games with a 43-19 (.693) mark versus the league in Huskie Stadium since 1997.
ESPN2 MIDWEEK MACtion: Northern Illinois and Toledo will face off on ESPN2 in a midweek game for the third straight season, and for the sixth time since 2004. This year's game is the second of those six to be played on Wednesday (2005). In 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011, NIU and Toledo played a Tuesday night game on ESPN2. Northern Illinois has won three of the five ESPN2 match-ups in the series, including the last two.
RECEIVING VOTES: Northern Illinois now leads all college football teams in the "Also Receiving Votes" category of the two major college football polls as the Huskies spend their fourth straight week in the listing. NIU has 88 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll, up 49 points from a week ago. The Huskies earned 64 points from the Associated Press voters, an increase of 52 from last week. In the Harris Interactive Poll, Northern Illinois has 110 points and is 28th. In the preseason, NIU earned one point in the AP poll and two points from the coaches. The Huskies finished 2011 ranked 28th and 26th, respectively by AP and USA Today, the second straight year Northern Illinois ended up in the Top 30.
ROCKETS & DOGS: Although Northern Illinois has won each of the last two meetings over Toledo while scoring 65 and 63 points, the Rockets continue to hold the clear edge in the series as they have won 29 of the 39 meetings between the teams. Wednesday's game will be the 19th played in DeKalb, where Toledo's margin over NIU is 11-7. UT has dominated the series since 1990, winning 14 of the last 18 games. NIU has won just seven of the 26 games played as MAC foes.
WELCOME TO THE MAC: Northern Illinois welcomed league newcomer UMass to the Mid-American Conference with a 63-0 defeat on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Huskie Stadium. NIU notched its first shut out in 53 games (since Sept. 27, 2008), holding the Minutemen to 267 yards on 83 plays for an average of 3.2 per play. UMass committed four turnovers and was one-of-six on fourth down conversions. Offensively, Northern Illinois ran for 332 yards, led by 157 from quarterback Jordan Lynch, who scored on a 57-yard run and threw a pair of touchdown passes. The Huskie back-ups played most of the second half and contributed three scores.
FAMILIAR FACE: Toledo defensive coordinator Tom Matukewicz spent the last four seasons (2008-11) at Northern Illinois where he served as the Huskies' linebackers coach under both former NIU coach Jerry Kill (2008-10) and current NIU mentor Dave Doeren (2011). When Kill let NIU for Minnesota in early December, 2010, Matukewicz served as Northern Illinois interim head coach for the Humanitarian (now Famous Idaho Potato) Bowl game in Boise, Idaho. He led NIU to a 40-17 win over Fresno State in that game.
ANOTHER STREAK: Add another streak to Northern Illinois' list that includes active overall, MAC, home, road and MAC home winning streaks. NIU enters Wednesday's game versus Toledo with nine straight November victories over the last three seasons. Northern Illinois has not lost a game in November since Nov. 27, 2009 when the Huskies lost to Central Michigan on the last day of the regular season.
NCAA RECORD: Jordan Lynch has run for at least 100 yards in each of the Huskies' last eight games, dating back to the Army game on Sept. 15, to set a new NCAA record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback. Lynch's streak destroyed the previous mark of five consecutive 100-yard rushing games, held by five different quarterbacks. In addition, Lynch has broken NIU great Garrett Wolfe's 2004 school record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games in a season. With nine 100-yard games on the season, Lynch has tied four of the best running backs in NIU history - Mark Kellar, LeShon Johnson, Charles Talley and Michael Turner - for the most in a single season.
NO. 6 IS NO. 1: Jordan Lynch's 2012 numbers stack up against those of any quarterback in the country and place him in elite company among running backs. Lynch entered the week leading the nation in total offense yards with 3,517, an average of 351.7 yards per game, fifth in the nation. He has accounted for more yards of total offense than 47 FBS teams, including Florida, Stanford and six Big Ten Conference teams. With 1,342 rushing yards on 185 carries, Lynch ranks third in the country in rushing average (134.2 yards per game) and he entered the week with more rushing yards than any player in the nation. His rushing total is higher than 42 teams, including Penn State, South Carolina and Miami (Fla.).
SPEAKING OF STREAKS: With a season-best completion percentage of 78.9 percent on 15-of-19 passing, and no interceptions versus UMass, Jordan Lynch has not thrown an interception in his last 165 passes. His interception-less streak spans six games (since the fourth-quarter of the Kansas game).
LYNCH AND TURNOVERS: In 443 touches (185 rushes, 258 throws), Lynch has turned the ball over six times on three fumbles and three INTs for a turnover percentage of 1.35 percent. Lynch's last turnover was a fourth-quarter interception versus Kansas. He also threw interceptions versus UT Martin and Army, while his fumbles came versus Iowa and Army (two). Lynch has not turned the ball over in six games and 291 touches (165 passes, 126 carries).
HE PASSES, HE RUNS, HE SCORES: NIU's Jordan Lynch is responsible for more touchdowns (rushing and passing) than any player in the country with 19 passing and 16 rushing scores for 35 total TDs. After scoring on a 57-yard run and throwing touchdown passes of nine and 17 yards versus UMass, he has at least one passing and one rushing score in each of NIU's last six contests. Lynch has six games with multiple TD passes and scored multiple rushing touchdowns in five games. His scoring average of 9.6 points per game ranks 20th in the country. He accounted for a career-high six touchdowns at Western Michigan with four passing and two rushing.
RECORD NUMBERS:With 1,342 rushing yards, Jordan Lynch has recorded the 13th 1,000-yard season by a Northern Illinois player in the last 14 years dating back to 1999. Lynch's 2012 total ranks 12th in a single season at Northern Illinois, and he needs 361 yards to break the NCAA FBS record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback, set by Michigan's Denard Robinson in 2010 with 1,702 yards. He is also challenging the NCAA record for highest rushing average by a QB (135.8 by Beau Morgan, Air Force in 1996) and has a chance to become the first quarterback ever to lead the FBS in rushing.
NO EXPERIENCE, NO PROBLEM: After senior-to-be Logan Pegram was lost for the year in the preseason, Northern Illinois entered 2012 without a returning starter on the offensive line as only guard Jared Volk had ever started a single game for the Huskies before. Volk, who was returning from a knee injury, started a pair of games for the Huskies last year. Eight players make up the 2012 offensive line rotation, helping power a rushing attack that now ranks 11th in the country and leads the MAC. NIU does not have a senior among its top eight o-linemen as tackle Matt Krempel and Volk are juniors, tackles Tyler Loos and Ryan Brown and guard Tyler Pitt are sophomores, and guards Matthew Killian and Aidan Conlon, and center Andrew Ness are redshirt freshmen.
STEPPING UP: The Northern Illinois defense held a team below 300 yards of total offense for the third time this season when UMass gained just 267 yards, adding to the list that includes Akron (199 yards) and Iowa (268). A year ago, NIU held just two teams below the 300-yard threshold in 14 games. The Huskies have also held three teams below 100 rushing yards while five NIU opponents have thrown for less than 200 yards. Northern Illinois has accomplished this while playing with multiple line-ups on defense due to injury. Only four players (DEs Alan Baxter and Sean Progar, NG Nabal Jefferson and DB Demetrius Stone) have started every game on defense for NIU this season with Stone starting at two different positions.
MAC ONLY NUMBERS: In six games versus MAC opponents, Northern Illinois is averaging 292.7 rushing yards per game, 6.1 yards per rush and has scored 24 rushing touchdowns while holding opponents to 107.5 yards on the ground, a 2.9-yard average and four rushing scores. Overall, the Huskies have outscored their league opponents 283-91 and given up 11 touchdowns. Northern Illinois has outscored its six MAC opponents 145-30 in the second half.
POTW: Defensive tackle Ken Bishop is the latest Huskie to pick up MAC West Player of the Week honors as he earned the defensive award following a five-tackle game in the Huskies' shutout of UMass. Bishop is the fourth NIU defender to earn a MAC Player of the Week Award, with defensive end Sean Progar picking up the honor twice. Jordan Lynch is a three-time MAC West Player of the Week in 2012 on the offensive side, while kicker Mathew Sims has been honored twice as the Specialist of the Week.
MORE, MORE, MOORE: Huskie senior receiver Martel Moore continues his climb up the NIU record book with the best season of a stellar career with eight touchdowns and 48 catches to date. The San Antonio, Texas product now ranks among the top four receivers all-time at Northern Illinois with 2,207 receiving yards on 154 catches with 19 touchdowns. Moore has four 100-yard receiving days in 2012 and eight in his career He is one of five Huskies all-time, and the first since 2005, to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in receiving yards.
MOBILE MEN: With Marlon Moore in the NIU line-up at cornerback, half of the Huskies' starting defensive backfield hails from Mobile, Alabama. Moore, a true freshman from C.F. Vigor High School, joined safety Jimmie Ward (Davidson HS) at NIU this season and, like Ward, has made an immediate impact. Ward is the Huskies' second-leading tackler with 70 stops and ranks second on the team with nine pass break-ups; he and Moore are tied for the team lead with two interceptions each. Moore had a pair of INTs in his first career start versus Buffalo.
MMM...PANCAKES: Tight end Jason Schepler continues to pile up the pancake blocks as his return from tearing his ACL twice over the last 18 months has keyed the Huskies' rushing success. Schepler, a dominating blocker on the edge, collected three pancakes versus UMass and now has 40 through 10 games. NIU leads the MAC and ranks 12th nationally in rushing with 250.9 yards per game while running behind Schepler, the only fifth-year senior on the Huskie offense. Schepler's caught the second touchdown pass of his career - a 13-yard grab at Akron - nearly two years after his last catch, in the 2010 MAC Championship game.
COMEBACK-ABILITY: In 2012, the Huskies again have displayed resiliency and the 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 and scored 14 points in the final five minutes of the game to claim the 12-point win, NIU's third come-from-behind victory 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.
STAFF TRANSITION: On Sept. 3, Northern Illinois announced that first-year offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar's duties would be reassigned so that he could focus on his battle with cancer. Offensive line coach Rod Carey is handling game-planning and play-calling duties. 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 responsibilities.
SACK MAN: NIU senior defensive end Sean Progar plays in his 51st game, and will start his 45th game, for the Huskie defense versus Toledo. The two-time MAC West Defensive Player of the Week leads NIU with eight sacks. He had a career high three sacks at Western Michigan and has moved into third place on the NIU career sacks list with 23.5. He is eighth all-time at Northern Illinois in tackles for loss with 36.5 and has made 161 career tackles.
TRIPLE DOUBLE:Northern Illinois, one of 10 FBS programs to win at least 11 games in each of the last two years, is looking to reach the double-digit win total for the third consecutive year and for the sixth time in school history. If Northern Illinois can reach the 10-win mark Wednesday, it would mark the earliest that NIU had ever won 10 games. NIU did not win its 10th game a year ago until the MAC Championship game.
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