Although they didn’t move up in the rankings after week 12, the Northern Illinois Huskies are still looking like a team that’s poised for a BCS bowl appearance. Beating more Big Ten teams this season than any team from the state of Illinois might be an impressive feat, but I’m sure they are hungry for more impressive feats.
With a win against Northern Illinois, the Toledo Rockets can take over the second spot in the MAC West standings, passing the Huskies. At 7-3 on the year, the Rockets are no easy victory and it looks like they will be playing with some extra intensity at home with an extra incentive to contend for a conference title.
Northern Illinois is 10-0 on the year and for the second straight season, they will be likely heading to a BCS bowl game. Jordan Lynch is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and his head coach thinks he’s a sure candidate for the Heisman Trophy, but playing for a MAC team might doom him. He has passed for 2,216 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year while also leading the team in rushing with 1,273 yards and 14 touchdowns. Cameron Stingily is close behind with 812 yards and nine scores for the eighth-ranked rushing attack. Tommylee Lewis has been the main target, leading the team in receptions with 74 for 623 yards and three touchdowns.
Toledo also has one of the top rushing attacks in the nation as the MAC seems to fare pretty well in that category. The Rockets rank 14th in the nation in rushing yards per game behind the two-headed attack of David Fluellen and Kareem Hunt who have 1,067 yards with 10 touchdowns and 672 yards with six touchdowns, respectively. These guys are hard to stop and have provided some punch on the ground this season for the 7-3 Rockets. Terrance Owens leads the passing attack with 1,837 yards and 13 touchdowns, hitting Bernard Reedy 55 times for 736 yards and six scores — all team-highs.
Defensively, the Rockets rank 72nd in the nation in points allowed while also posting a 74th-ranking in yards allowed per contest. Northern Illinois ranks 51st in points allowed per game and fare a little better than Toledo in yards allowed per game, ranking 68th.
Northern Illinois will travel to Toledo to take on the Rockets at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Northern Illinois 35, Toledo 24