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Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Illinois: Game Preview With TV Schedule

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Northern Illinois

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

One week after Jordan Lynch ran for over 300 yards, the Northern Illinois Huskies get to take the field against one of the worst teams in the MAC. Beating the Central Michigan Chippewas a week ago, the Huskies have now improved to 7-0 on the season and look like clear favorites to win the conference title.

On the other side of the field, the Eastern Michigan Eagles are struggling to win games this season — winning just one out of seven contests to begin the season. The 1-6 Eagles are playing for a fallen teammate as they lost junior wide receiver Demarius Reed in tragic fashion.

Jordan Lynch leads the Norther Illinois offense that ranks fourth in the nation in rush yards per game. How does a quarterback lead a rushing attack if he’s supposed to be passing the ball? It’s because Lynch leads the team in rushing with 932 yards and seven touchdowns while also passing for 1,488 yards and 14 touchdowns. One year ago, Lynch was considered a Heisman contender and he could once again be back in that mix for 2013. Cameron Stingily also contributes to the impressive rushing attack with 726 yards and seven touchdowns on his own.

Eastern Michigan doesn’t have much of an offense, ranking 88th in the nation in passing yards and 74th in the country in rush yards per game. Junior quarterback Tyler Benz has accounted for 1,403 passing yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Bronson Hill is the top rusher on offense, accumulating 752 yards and four touchdowns on the ground for an offense that ranks 108th nationally in points per game, scoring just under 20 per contest.

Defensively, the Huskies rank 59th in points allowed per game with just over 26 while also ranking 74th in the nation in yards allowed per game with 421. Eastern Michigan allows the third-most points per game in college football with 42.3 and the 15th-most yards per game in the nation.

Eastern Michigan will travel to Northern Illinois to take on the Huskies at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.

PREDICTION: Eastern Michigan 13, Northern Illinois 31

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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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?

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Bowling Green Falcons: QB Matt Johnson Outduels NIU’s Jordan Lynch For Upset Victory

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