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Northern Illinois Huskies Looking To Stay Perfect Against Purdue Boilermakers

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Northern Illinois

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t easy, but the Northern Illinois Huskies improved to 3-0 with a 43-39 victory over Eastern Illinois last Saturday.

The Huskies racked up 602 total yards of offense en route to the victory and the team has their sights set on this weekend’s matchup against another Big 10 opponent (Iowa week 1) in the Purdue Boilermakers. If the Huskies can get the victory on the road, it would be a great momentum builder for first year head coach Rod Carey as his team will head into October fighting for another MAC title.

The Huskies’ offense is one of the nation’s best. The Huskies are averaging 220.7 passing yards per game and are averaging an amazing 295.3 rushing yards per game (11th in the country). Led by senior quarterback Jordan Lynch, the team is 33rd in the nation in scoring offense putting up 39.3 points per game this season. Lynch is having a solid season, completing 63 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He has run the football extremely well averaging 5.9 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Junior running back Cameron Stingily is helping carry the load averaging 5.2 yards per carry while scoring three touchdowns.

The Huskies will face a tough challenge this weekend against Purdue. The Huskies will need to play physical on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The Boilermakers are going through a transition year under their new head coach Darrell Hazell, but they have played well in two home games this season. The Boilermakers almost upset Notre Dame (lost 24-17) and they defeated Indiana State 20-14. The Huskies should look to attack the rushing defense this Saturday. The Boilermakers have struggled allowing 184 rushing yards per game.

Defensively, the Huskies will need to slow down Purdue running back Akeem Hunt. Hunt is an explosive player who is a threat to go the distance every time the pigskin is in his hands. Hunt is a dual threat that can catch the ball out of the backfield, and the Huskies must contain him in order to pick up the victory on Saturday.

Northern Illinois have been very active in creating sacks this season. The team has accumulated 14 sacks so far and is very aggressive using blitz packages. Sophomore defensive lineman Perez Ford leads the team with four sacks on the year.

Game time is set for 12 pm at Purdue.

Joseph Lisi is a MAC writer for, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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Northern Illinois Huskies Need Offensive Bounceback in Poinsettia Bowl

The Northern Illinois Huskies were one win away from making their second straight trip the BCS in 2013 before running into a brick wall in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons in the MAC Championship game. Bowling Green’s top-ten defense contained the high-powered offensive attack of NIU and upset the Huskies to keep them from busting the BCS yet again. Northern Illinois will have to find a way to bounce back offensively in a hurry, however, as they face another tough defensive challenge in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against the Utah State Aggies.

The MAC title game was the first time all season long that NIU failed to score at least 30 points in a game. Combined with a rough day on defense, the Huskies faced a lopsided upset loss at the hands of the Falcons thanks to their physical defense which were able to keep Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch somewhat contained and even forced a pair of interceptions out of the offensive leader of the Huskies’ attack.

They will need to figure out what went wrong in a hurry, though, as Utah State brings a similarly stingy defense to the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aggies rank No. 12 nationally in total defense this season and No. 10 against the run. They have a physical defensive front that helped turn around Utah State’s season after a rough 3-3 start to 2013 that ended up in the Moutain West Conference Championship game in their very first year in the conference.

NIU will be challenged by the Aggies when they square off. If they stumble in the same way they did against Bowling Green, Lynch will leave the Huskies with a disappointing and unsatisfying finale to his collegiate career. Can the Huskies fix what failed them in the MAC title game and come out ahead against Utah State?

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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