When other similar schools look for at Northern Illinois football, they have to all be asking the same question: How do the Huskies do it?
The answer to that question is both simple and hard: Find good coaches and good quarterbacks. Both were on display in a 63-19 win at Massachusetts in a Mid-American Conference game on Saturday. Everyone knows about Jordan Lynch, the dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, but few know about Rod Carey, the NIU head coach. It was Carey took the baton from Dave Doeren when he left for North Carolina State at the end of last year and Carey, who has the Huskies’ in the hunt for a prestigious bowl game again.
Lynch was simply spectacular again, accounting for five touchdowns and four rushing. The win lifts NIU to 9-0 on the season, their best start since 1965.
The Huskies ran a spread offense under Doeren, and many predicted a drop in the production because Carey represented the third head coach for the program in three years. Former athletic director Jeff Compher made the right choice in elevating offensive line coach Carey to the position, because he knew the ins and outs of the offense and the way Lynch was capable of running it. Compher is now at East Carolina as AD, but he can also be credited for hiring Doeren after Jerry Kill left for Minnesota in the 2010 season. Doeren picked up right where Kill left off, going 11-3 and 12-1, setting a high standard for Carey to follow.
So far, he’s right on track to beat that, and that’s as much a tribute as the decisions made off the field by a former AD as it is the decisions made on the field by a remarkable quarterback.
Mike Gibson, a two-time APSE award-winner for Best Sports Story and Best Sports Feature, is a Phillies writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.