Nov. 18, 2013
GAME 11 - No. 16 NIU Huskies (10-0, 6-0) at Toledo Rockets (7-3, 5-1)
Nov. 20, 2013 | 7 p.m. (CT) | ESPN2 | Toledo, Ohio | Glass Bowl | 26,244
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (Chicago) | WLBK 1360 AM & 98.9 FM (DeKalb) | WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, Wis.)
-- 2013 NIU NUMBERS TO KNOW --
0 - FBS teams with MORE wins than NIU
2 - Wins over Big Ten teams
2 - Victories over nine-win teams
6 - 2013 ROAD wins*
10 - Consecutive wins
14 - Consecutive road wins*
23 - Consecutive wins in MAC Games*
25 - Consecutive wins at Huskie Stadium*
44 - Wins over last four seasons
The Last Meeting
November 14, 2012
Huskies Claim MAC West with Victory Over Toledo
Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another 162 yards as Northern Illinois clinched the MAC West with a 31-24 victory over Toledo on Wednesday night at Huskie Stadium.
*Leads the Nation (FBS)
-- ACTIVE STREAKS --
Wins at Home Stadium
Northern Illinois 25
South Carolina 16
Ohio State, Stanford 14
Northern Illinois 14
Texas A&M, Ohio State 8
Northern Illinois (MAC) 23
Ohio State (Big Ten) 14
Florida State (ACC) 14
Jordan Lynch FOR 6
With 1,273 rushing and 2,216 passing yards, and 14 rushing and 21 passing touchdowns, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch has accounted for 3,489 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. Lynch is now 22-2 as the Huskies' starting QB, and has never lost either a Mid-American Conference game or a home game as the NIU starter. He owns SIX NCAA marks, two MAC records and 15 NIU records. Lynch ranks FOURTH all-time at NIU in rushing yards and with 50 more yards will rank behind ONLY Huskie greats Garrett Wolfe and Michael Turner on the school's all-time chart.
See his bio in this release, check out his highlights and more at www.LynchFor6.com. Follow @LynchFor6 on Twitter for daily #LynchLines.
HUSKIE BITES - TOP NIU NOTES
^The undefeated Northern Illinois University Huskies are ranked No. 16 in the Nov. 17 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Rankings heading into this MAC West showdown at Toledo.
^NIU has 44 wins since 2010, putting the Huskies in elite company behind only Oregon and Alabama for wins in the last four years.
^NIU is coming off last Wednesday's 48-27 home victory over Ball State, which entered the game 9-1. The Huskies broke a 27-27 tie on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Lynch to Da'Ron Brown with 5:49 to play and added two scores in the final two minutes to claim the win before a national television audience on ESPN2.
^For the second straight week, NIU is ranked No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, 20th in the Associated Press rankings and 18th in the Harris poll.
^With a 10-0 record, the 2013 Huskies have matched the 1963 NCAA College Division Championship squad which finished the year undefeated at 10-0. NIU's current record is the school's best since entering the "Major College" ranks in 1969.
^NIU has won MORE ROAD GAMES than any other FBS team this season with six; the Huskies' 14-game road winning streak also leads the country.
^The Huskies have won 23 consecutive games versus Mid-American Conference opponents dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 and own the longest conference winning streak in the country.
^NIU's 2013 senior class has won 44 games in the last four seasons to unseat its 2012 predecessors as the winningest senior class in school history.
^NIU leads the nation with 25 consecutive victories in its home stadium since 2009. The 2013 seniors have never lost a home game.
^Rod Carey is 10-1 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 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: 10-1/1st
Alma Mater/Year: Indiana/1993
Basic Offense/Defense: Multiple/4-3
First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 545-465-51
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
TOLEDO ROCKETS' FACTS
2013 Record/Conference Record: 7-3/5-1
2012 Record/MAC Record/Finish: 9-4/7-1/2nd West
Head Coach: Matt Campbell (Mount Union/2002)
Record at UT/Year: 17-7/2nd
Career Record/Year: 17-7/2nd
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Conference: Mid-American (West)
Colors: Midnight Blue & Gold
Stadium: Glass Bowl
President: Dr. Lloyd Jacobs
Athletic Director: Michael O'Brien
Athletics Website: www.utrockets.com
Twitter/Facebook: @UTRocketsDotCom/UT Rockets
Ticket Information: 419-530-GOLD
NIU-UT SERIES HISTORY
Overall: Toledo leads 29-11
In DeKalb: Toledo leads 11-8
In Toledo: Toledo leads 18-3
In MAC Games: Toledo leads 19-8
Streak: Northern Illinois, 3
First Meeting: Nov. 11, 1967; Toledo 35, NIU 0 (A)
Last Meeting: Nov. 14, 2012; NIU 31, Toledo 24 (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 10-0 record and a No. 15 BCS national ranking. Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch leads one of the top offenses in the nation and Carey is the first NIU coach to win two Big Ten games in the same season. Carey 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, he 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 2011, Carey mentored two All-Americans in center Scott Wedige and left tackle Trevor Olson, and 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 information.
ESPN2 to Televise NIU-Toledo
-- For the second consecutive week and third time this season, NIU will play in front of an ESPN2 national television audience.
-- Dave Lamont will handle the play-by-play call with Desmond Howard as the color analyst and Quint Kessenich on sidelines.
-- The game is also available on WatchESPN.
-- NIU's game next Tuesday versus Western Michigan also will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Huskies-Rockets on Radio
-- The Northern Illinois IMG Sports Network broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. CT, 30 minutes before kickoff.
-- NIU network affiliates that will carry the Toledo 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 Radio Shows
-- "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, Huskie administrators 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 NIU players, along with special guests.
-- 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
BACK TO THE ROAD: For the second straight Wednesday, NIU faces a MAC West rival as the Huskies travel to Toledo to face the Rockets on ESPN2. The Huskies are looking to extend their FBS-leading 23-game conference and 14-game road winning streaks.
UNBLEMISHED: NIU is 10-0 for the first time as an FBS program and just the second time in 108 years of football. The last Huskie team to go 10-0 was the 1963 NIU team that won the College Division National Championship behind College Football Hall of Famer George Bork.
ONLY SIX: The Huskies are one of just six undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision and were the first team in the nation to reach the 10-win mark. The undefeated list includes Florida State (ACC), Alabama (SEC), Baylor (Big XII), Ohio State (Big Ten), Fresno State (Mountain West) and NIU. All of the teams except Baylor (9-0) are 10-0 on the year.
ESPN2 MIDWEEK #MACTION: Northern Illinois and Toledo will face off on ESPN2 in a midweek game for the fourth straight season, and for the seventh time since 2004. This year's game is the third of those seven to be played on Wednesday, joining the 2005 and 2012 contests. In 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011, NIU and Toledo played a Tuesday night game on ESPN2. Northern Illinois has won four of the six ESPN2 match-ups in the series, including the last three.
HUSKIES AND THE RANKINGS: Despite recording one of its biggest wins of the season last week, NIU fell one spot to No. 16 in this week's Bowl Championship Series Rankings with an average of .3729, and rank four-tenths of a point behind No. 15 Fresno State (.4134), the team the Huskies are chasing for a potential spot in a BCS bowl game. NIU's average ranking by the computers used to determine the BCS numbers is 12. The Huskies lost points in the USA Today Coaches' Poll (418), and were up 39 points in the Harris Poll (864) and 30 points in the AP rankings. NIU remained ranked 21st, 18th and 20th, respectively in those rankings.
TOP CLASS: For the third consecutive season, NIU's seniors are the winningest class in school history. With the Huskies' win over Eastern Michigan, the 2013 seniors unseated the 2012 group atop the wins list and now have 44 wins. The 2013 seniors were on teams that won 11 games in both 2010 and 2011, 12 a year ago and 10 so far in 2013. The seniors own a winning percentage of .846 with an overall record of 44-8 and are 22-0 at home. The 2012 seniors were 41-13 (.759) between 2009-2012; they took the winningest senior class mantle from the 2011 class, which went 35-19 (.648). Both the 2011 and 2012 seniors' final years included MAC Championships.
ROAD STREAK: NIU's 14-game winning streak in road games ranks as the longest in the country and dates back to Oct. 1, 2011, when the Huskies dropped a 48-41 decision at Central Michigan. The Huskies six road victories this season lead all FBS teams.
SELECT COMPANY: Since the start of the 2010 season, only two FBS programs - Oregon and Alabama - have won more games than Northern Illinois. NIU has posted a 44-8 record over the last four years, while Oregon and Alabama are both 45-5. Boise State is the only other teams with at least 44 wins since 2010.
MAC STREAKING: The Huskies have won 23 consecutive games versus Mid-American Conference opponents, 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 121-90-2 (.573) all-time in MAC games with an 85-45 (.654) record in Mid-American Conference play since re-joining the league in 1997. The Huskies have won 28 of their last 29 and 33 of their last 37 MAC regular season contests. Northern Illinois is in its 28th season as a member of the league in 2013-14.
MAC ROAD RECORD: All-time, NIU is 53-52-1 (.505) in 106 Mid-American Conference road games. The Huskies have won 71.1 percent (32 of 45) of their MAC road games since 2002 and are 39-26 (.600) on the road versus league teams since 1997 when NIU rejoined the league.
NOVEMBERS TO REMEMBER: Huskie fans have had plenty to be thankful for in the month of November, as last Wednesday's win over Ball State was NIU's 13th consecutive win in the 11th month of the year. Despite playing a majority of its November games on weeknights over the last five years, NIU's last loss in the month came Nov. 27, 2009, when the Huskies dropped a 45-31 contest at Central Michigan. NIU owns a seven-game home winning streak in November, with the last November loss at Huskie Stadium on Nov. 25, 2008, against Navy.
LAST TIME OUT: Last Wednesday at Huskie Stadium, NIU earned a hard-fought 48-27 victory over Ball State with three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game. Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch completed 26-of-32 passes for a season-high 345 yards and two scores, and ran for 123 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns to lead the Huskies. With the score tied at 27, Lynch hit Da'Ron Brown for a 58-yard touchdown and after a big stop on fourth-and-one by the NIU defense, he scored on a 16-yard run to put the game away.
HOME REALLY IS SWEET: The Huskies own the longest winning streak by a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team in its home stadium with 25 consecutive wins; the 25 straight wins is both a school and Mid-American Conference record. Northern Illinois is 4-0 at home in 2013. NIU's last loss in DeKalb occurred Sept. 26, 2009, a 34-31 loss to Idaho. Ninety-six players on NIU's 2013 team have never lost on Brigham Field.
Dominant on the Deuce: NIU has won each of its last seven games broadcast on ESPN2, including two in 2013. In addition to last week's win over Ball State, NIU defeated Purdue (55-24) on Sept. 28 on ESPN2. The Huskies knocked off Toledo (31-24) and Kent State (44-37 in the MAC title game) last season on the network. Northern Illinois' last loss on ESPN2 came in the 2010 MAC Championship against Miami (Ohio). Each of the Huskies' last three regular season contests will be shown on ESPN2.
MEET THE SENIORS: The Huskies' 17 seniors face the final two regular season games of their NIU careers over the next two weeks. Northern Illinois has 12 seniors on defense, including six 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 stalwarts in the Huskies' secondary. NIU has three seniors on the offensive line in starters Matt Krempel (RT) and Jared Volk (LG) 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 group. Tailback Akeem Daniels has not played this season due to a foot injury.
ROCKETS & DOGS: NIU owns a three-game win streak over Toledo, but the Rockets hold the edge in the series as they have won 29 of the 40 meetings between the teams all-time. In Toledo, that edge is even more pronounced as the Huskies have just three wins in 21 games in the Glass Bowl, including a 63-60 "instant classic" game in 2011. NIU has won just eight of the 27 games played as MAC foes.
FAMILIAR FACE: Toledo defensive coordinator Tom Matukewicz spent four seasons (2008-11) at NIU where he served as the Huskies' linebackers coach under former Huskie head coaches Jerry Kill (2008-10) and Dave Doeren (2011). When Kill left 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.
PRESSURE IS A PRIVILEGE: In the preseason, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch used the phrase "pressure is a privilege" to describe how he approaches the expectations for Lynch and the 2013 Huskies. Based on NIU's success in close games over the last two seasons, the team has embraced that motto as the Huskies are 7-0 in their last seven games decided by seven points or less. NIU has won three of those games this season over Akron (27-20), Eastern Illinois (43-39) and Iowa (30-27)
CONSISTENCY: No offense in the country has scored as consistently as the Huskies in 2013. NIU has put points on the board in 39 of 40 quarters (97.5 percent) and is the only team in the country to score in every quarter but one this year. The Huskies have been held to three points or less in a quarter only four times with at least six points in every other period this season. NIU had a string of 21 straight quarters with a score snapped in the second period versus Akron, and has now put points on the board in 18 straight periods. On the year, NIU has scored at least 100 points in every quarter with a season-best 131 points in the second period. The third quarter is the Huskies' best defensive quarter as opponents have scored only 39 points. In the second half, the Huskie defense has given up just 85 points (an average of 8.5 per game).
STEPPING UP: NIU's defense was able to hold Ball State to just 27 points, including just three in the second half, in part by limiting the Cardinals' long plays. BSU, which came into the game averaging 39.9 points per game, recorded only three plays of 25 yards or longer and all three came on special teams. Offensively, Ball State's longest run was 13 yards while it's longest pass plays were of 21 yards.
NOBODY DOES BOTH BETTER: No player in the country can compare to Jordan Lynch when it comes to what he does for his team both as a passer and as a rusher, not to mention as a leader. (Don't even get us started on his punting and receiving.) Lynch is the number one dual-threat player in the country. Start with his 2,216 passing yards on 190-of-290 passing (65.5 percent) with 21 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Add his status as the No. 8 rusher in the country with 1,273 yards on 193 carries (6.6 yards per carry) and 14 scores on the ground, and you have a player whose ability to do both has lifted NIU to a 10-0 record.
DUAL-THREAT: With 345 passing and 123 rushing yards in NIU's win over Ball State, Jordan Lynch recorded his 10th game with at least 200 passing and 100 rushing yards, a number which leads all active FBS players. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel ranks second with eight 200/100 games while Ohio State's Braxton Miller is third with just three 200/100 games. During that time, Lynch also has two 190-plus yard passing games and two games with 90-or-more rushing yards. He has thrown for at least 150 yards in each of the Huskies' last 23 games, has passed for a score in 23 consecutive contests and accounted for at least one touchdown in every game he has started (24).
SIGNATURE MOMENTS: Two big plays defined Jordan Lynch's play, and led directly to the Huskie win over Ball State last week. With NIU facing third and 10 from its own 28-yard line on its first drive of the half, Lynch appeared to be caught behind the line of scrimmage for a loss by two Ball State defenders. He stepped away from one and then, with a BSU player ON HIS BACK, spun him off and ran 10 yards for the first down. The drive would result in a one-yard touchdown run by Cameron Stingily and a 27-24 NIU lead. On a third-and-11 play from the NIU 38 in the fourth quarter, Lynch rolled out to evade two BSU rushers, then heaved the ball to Matt Williams 25 yards downfield. Two plays later, he hit Da'Ron Brown in stride in the end zone for the game-winning score.
MORE LYNCH HEROICS: Jordan Lynch recorded the best completion percentage of his career, and was one completion away from the NIU single game record, with his 26-of-32 passing performance in the Huskies' win over Ball State. Lynch completed 81.3 percent of his passes with a career-high 26 completions. The 26 completions tied for seventh-most all-time at NIU and the 345 yards are eighth.
RUSHING PROWESS: Jordan Lynch needs just 50 rushing yards to move into THIRD place on the NIU all-time rushing list which is no small feat. NIU's reputation as a rushing power dates back to the days when Mark Kellar led the NCAA in rushing in 1973. LeShon Johnson (1993) and Garrett Wolfe (2006) followed Kellar as NCAA leaders, and the Huskies have had a player rush for at least 1,000 yards in 14 of the last 15 seasons. Given that, for Lynch's total of 3,696 yards to rank behind only Kellar (3,745 yards), Michael Turner (4,941) and Garrett Wolfe (5,164) on the NIU career charts speaks to his just one half of his incredible abilities.
HOT, HOT, HOT: In NIU's last four games, Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch has run for 657 yards on 87 carries with 10 touchdowns, completed 72-of-95 passes for 883 yards and eight scores to total 1,540 yards on 182 plays. He is averaging 7.55 yards per carry and completing 75.8 percent of his passes. Northern Illinois is gaining 8.46 yards every time he touches the ball over the last four games. He has scored at least one rushing and one passing TDs in the Huskies' last five games.
RUSHING SCORES: Jordan Lynch scored on runs of two and 16 yards versus Ball State to record his 13th and 14th rushing touchdowns of the season and the 38th and 39th of his career. Lynch is tied for sixth in the country in rushing touchdowns and is fourth all-time at NIU, trailing only tailbacks Garrett Wolfe (52), Chad Spann (49) and Michael Turner (43). He has rushed for a touchdown in 17 games over his last two seasons as the Huskies' starting quarterback, which is the most among FBS quarterbacks and ranks FOURTH among all FBS players.
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.
ALL-PURPOSE: After catching a career-high 12 passes (tied for sixth all-time and the most by a Huskie since 2005) versus Ball State, Tommylee Lewis has 74 catches for 623 yards on the season. The 5-7 Floridian is second in the MAC and 13th nationally in catches per game (7.4). The speedy Lewis also ranks third on the Huskie team in rushing yards with 321 on 24 carries to average 13.4 yards per carry. He 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 six punts for 22 yards and threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lynch vs. EMU on his first career pass attempt.
BALL HAWK: After he intercepted five passes in the Huskies' first six games, opponents have avoided throwing near NIU safety Jimmie Ward. That has not stopped the senior, who has often drawn the assignment of covering the opposing teams' top receiver, from ranking second on the NIU team in tackles with 64. He is tied for third on the team in pass break-ups with five and has 2.5 tackles for loss. The Mobile, Ala. product is the first NIU player to be named a semifinalist for the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's top defensive back. He was named to SI.com's Midseason All-America team. Ward returned his interception at Purdue 62 yards for a touchdown and set up the Huskies' game-winning field goal at Iowa by intercepting Iowa QB Jake Rudock with 1:17 to play.
BROWN's BIG DAY: Junior receiver Da'Ron Brown had the best day of his NIU career with eight catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns versus Ball State. Brown caught touchdown passes of 58 and 36 yards, and fumbled at the end of a 54-yard reception. Brown became the seventh NIU receiver to have a 200-yard receiving game, and the first player since Martel Moore had a 224-yard game versus Arkansas State in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Moore's 209 yard total ranks seventh on the Huskie single game chart.
RESPECTING THE PROTECTING: Through 10 games, the Huskie offensive line, tight ends and running backs have given up just six quarterback sacks. NIU is tied for second in the country in fewest sacks allowed while powering an offense ranked fourth overall (547.8 yards/game), eighth in rushing (303.8) and sixth in scoring (44.6 points/game). With the loss of left tackle Tyler Loos, who suffered a dislocated ankle and broken leg versus UMass, the Huskies offensive line now consists of tackles Matt Krempel (RT) and Ryan Brown (LT), guards Jared Volk (LG) and Aidan Conlon (RG) and center Andrew Ness. Junior Tyler Pitt rotates in at guard, just as Krempel did prior to the injury to Loos.
STINGILY AND THE YAC: According to the NIU coaches, 72 percent of tailback Cameron Stingily's rushing yards (588 of 812) have come after the first contact with a defender. Approximately 4.0 of his 5.6 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.
SENIOR-LESS: NIU does not have a single (active) senior wide receiver, running back, fullback or tight end on the roster in 2013. In fact, the only senior to catch a pass or record a rush for NIU in 2013 is Jordan Lynch, with a 17-yard touchdown catch from Tommylee Lewis versus Eastern Michigan. Juniors have carried the bulk of the load with Tommylee Lewis (74 catches) and Da'Ron Brown (41) combining for 115 catches for 1,312 of NIU's 2,440 receiving yards (53.8 percent).
PICKED OFF: Seven NIU defenders, including defensive linemen Joe Windsor and Ken Bishop, have combined to intercept 14 passes for the Huskies this season. A trio of safeties - Jimmie Ward (5), Dechane Durante (3) and Dominique Ware (2) - are the only players with multiple interceptions on the year. Ward (vs. Purdue) and Windsor (vs. Ball State) have touchdown returns. NIU is just one pickoff away from equalling its 2012 total.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Defensive tackle Ken Bishop ranks fourth on the Huskie team in tackles with 48 and is second on the team with 5.5 tackles for loss. At UMass, Bishop stepped in front of a screen pass on the UM 21-yard line and returned it 14 yards to the seven. He finished with a career high nine tackles to earn his second MAC West Defensive Player of the Week Award. Bishop was also honored versus Idaho. Akron Head Coach Terry Bowden came away impressed after Bishop made five solo stops and a TFL in NIU's 27-20 win, "I don't think there's a better defensive player in the league than No. 93 (Bishop). 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."
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.