Heading into the season, no one knew what to make of the Northern Illinois Huskies. Would they make another run at a BCS game? Would Jordan Lynch contend for a Heisman Trophy? While those questions have yet to be answered, a BCS game doesn’t look unlikely for the unbeaten Huskies.
As one of the most struggling teams in the MAC, the Central Michigan Chippewas will be just another speed bump in the Huskies’ road to an unbeaten season. It’s been a few years since the Chips were a legitimate contender in the MAC, but a 3-4 record to begin the season won’t win any conference titles.
As I said earlier, Northern Illinois has one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in Jordan Lynch. He has not played as well as he had a season ago, but the senior dual-threat has passed for 1,333 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season while also ranking second on the team in rushing yards with 616 yards and four touchdowns. Lynch isn’t the only reason this team ranks sixth in the nation in rushing yards as Cameron Stingily leads the team with 656 rushing yards as well as six touchdowns.
Central Michigan has one of the worst offenses in the nation. Freshman quarterback Cooper Rush is completing under 60 percent of his passes for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns on the season, but he also has nine interceptions to go along with it. Wide receiver Titus Davis has been the leading wide out, by far, for the Chippewas and a reason why Rush’s season has not been completely awful. Davis has 518 yards and four touchdowns on the year while catching 29 passes. Watch out for running back Saylor Lavallii who has over 700 yards on the ground this season.
Defensively, Northern Illinois ranks 77th in the nation is points allowed per game with 28.2 per contest. The defense doesn’t get any better in terms of yards, ranking 108th nationally with 461.5 yards allowed per game. Central Michigan ranks 100th in points allowed per game while ranking just 78th in yards allowed per game.
Northern Illinois will travel to Central Michigan to take on the Chippewas at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 19. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
PREDICTION: Northern Illinois 37, Central Michigan 13