One year ago, the Northern Illinois Huskies made it to a BCS bowl and became everyone’s favorite MAC team. This team has the chance to go back to a BCS bowl in the final year of the BCS. The Huskies are 8-0 on the season and in a weak conference, they could run the table.
On the other side of the field, the Massachusetts Minutemen are not what you would consider a solid football program. For the past few seasons, it’s been evident that this program has struggled on the football field and the 2013 season is no different as it is now 1-7 on the year.
Northern Illinois has a quarterback in Jordan Lynch that could easily be considered for Heisman as he was just a short season ago. Lynch has been the MVP of the conference and might be the lone reason that this team is unbeaten through nine weeks. He has passed for 1,711 yards and 18 touchdowns while also leading the team in rushing with 1,031 yards and eight touchdowns. The Huskies have the third-best rushing team in the nation and that’s also due to Cameron Stingily‘s success with 726 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.
Massachusetts has just one win on the season and the offense is the main reason for its lack of success. Ranking last in the nation in scoring and 109th in both passing and rushing yards per game, this team is in a hole that’s very hard to dig out of. Sophomore quarterback A.J. Doyle leads the passing attack with 1,045 yards and five touchdowns to go along with five interceptions. Tajae Sharpe has been his favorite target, catching 46 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns on the season as the lone bright spot on offense.
Defensively, the Minutemen rank 73rd in the country in points against per game as well as one of the worst teams in the nation in stopping long drives. Northern Illinois ranks 59th in points allowed per game to go along with a ranking of 68 in the country in yards allowed per game.
Northern Illinois will travel to Massachusetts to take on the Minutemen at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 2. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
PREDICTION: Northern Illinois 40, Massachusetts 10