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Eastern Mich3010720
Northern Ill211714759
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59


Eastern Michigan (1-6) at (23) Northern Illinois (7-0)



Saturday, October 26, 3:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Frank Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Northern Illinois Huskies put their undefeated record on the line once more, this time in a home clash with Mid-American Conference West Division foe Eastern Michigan.

Eastern Michigan comes in having won only once in seven opportunities this season, but the team has been thrown into further turmoil following the tragic death of wide receiver Demarius Reed. The junior was the apparent victim of a violent robbery, and his senseless slaying has given the Eagles a renewed sense of purpose as they stare down the final five games of the season, three of which they'll play on the road. In the first outing after the incident involving Reed, EMU suffered a 56-28 home loss to Ohio University last Saturday.

Northern Illinois is 7-0 and has won 20 consecutive games against MAC rivals, dating back to Oct. 1, 2011 when it lost at Central Michigan. The Huskies won their 13th straight road game by claiming a 38-17 triumph at CMU last weekend, and they still have two more away from home before what they hope is a trip to MAC Championship Game in Detroit on Dec. 6.

Northern Illinois owns a 27-14-2 advantage in the all-time series with Eastern Michigan, and the Huskies prevailed in last year's meeting, 49-7. The Eagles' last win was a 21-19 decision in DeKalb on Sept. 15, 2007.

Eastern Michigan doesn't have the most potent offense around, the team averaging just 19.7 points and 367.9 yards per contest -- both figures ranking the Eagles in the middle of the Mid-American Conference pack. Quarterback Tyler Benz has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,403 yards, nine TDs and eight interceptions, with guys like Tyreese Russell, Dustin Creel and Jay Jones all logging at least 22 receptions for a combined 919 yards and six scores. As for the EMU rushing attack, Bronson Hill has been highly productive in amassing 752 yards while finding the end zone four times. His 107.4 ypg ranks as the fifth-best average in the league.

The Eagles defense has been battered and bruised all season long, the unit giving up a MAC-worst 42.3 ppg. That number actually ranks the team 120th of the 123 teams currently charted at the Football Bowl Subdivision, and the one area in which it really struggles is against the run (246.3 ypg, 30 TDs allowed). Despite the unit's obvious difficulties, there are some guys who have produced for coach Ron English's club, notably Mycal Swaim (49 tackles, one INT), Ike Spearman (45 tackles, one INT) and Sean Kurtz (40 tackles, one INT). Pat O'Connor has three of the team's 13 sacks, but with only six total takeaways a glaring lack of big plays has hurt the Eagles' chances of being more competitive.

What was once a tight 21-21 game midway through the third quarter turned into a lopsided final as EMU suffered a 28-point loss to the Ohio Bobcats last weekend. The Eagles used a punishing rushing attack to stay relevant, churning out 315 yards in averaging 8.1 ypc. Unfortunately, they only scored once on the ground despite a season-high 257-yard effort by Hill. Benz threw for 151 yards with a pair of TDs and two interceptions, with both Creel and Russell pulling down scoring strikes.

Ohio generated 547 total yards last week, the bulk of which came through the air (399), and they scored four times via the pass. The Bobcats were highly efficient in converting 7-of-12 third-down chances, and they scored TDs on six of their seven trips to the red zone. Spearman paced the EMU defense with 10 tackles, but only one was unassisted, while Swaim finished with nine stops and Kurtz had eight.

Northern Illinois ranks first in the MAC in scoring offense (39.4 ppg), rushing offense (304.7 ypg) and total offense (519.9 ypg), none of which is surprising when you consider the outstanding season turned in by quarterback Jordan Lynch. A 61.3 percent passer who has thrown for 1,488 yards (212.6 ypg) with 14 TDs and only five interceptions, Lynch is the ultimate dual-threat option as he is actually more dangerous when he tucks the ball away and decides to take off, having run for 932 yards (second-most in the MAC) and seven TDs. Also serving notice in the NIU run game is Cameron Stingily, as he has carried the ball 133 times for 726 yards and seven scores himself. Tommylee Lewis (50 rec., 400 yards, three TDs) and Da'Ron Brown (30 rec., 442 yards, five TDs) are the team's top receivers.

The Huskies are a solid defensive team, permitting an average of 26.6 ppg, while clamping down on the run to the tune of a league-best 143.6 ypg allowed. They are one of only two teams in the MAC to hold the opposition to single- digit rushing TDs (six). That said, NIU has proven vulnerable against the pass, yielding a conference-worst 300.3 ypg, and the 17 passing TDs it has allowed is second-most. The Huskies have two guys who are at 50 tackles or greater this season, as Jimmie Ward (55) and Jamaal Bass (50) have certainly been busy, particularly Ward who is tied for the national lead with five interceptions.

In last week's win at Central Michigan, Lynch established a new FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback, as he ran for 316 yards and three TDs on 32 carries. he added 151 yards in the passing game, hitting Lewis 10 times for 54 yards and a score. Stingily also proved effective on the ground, tallying 70 yards and a TD on 14 totes. In all, the Huskies generated 592 yards of total offense, picked up 28 first downs, and scored on 6-of-8 trips to the red zone (five TDs).

NIU head coach Rod Carey praised his team after the CMU game, and spoke about the multitude of options he has at his disposal on offense.

"With all the weapons we have - Jordan, Cameron Stingily, Da'Ron Brown and Tommylee and our tight ends, each defense plays us a little differently," Carey said. "Defenses have to make a choice and then we take what they are giving you."

The Chippewas were held to 75 net rushing yards last week, averaging a mere 2.5 ypc and they did not score a TD on the ground. They did however, amass 271 yards and a pair of TDs via the pass. The Huskies managed to tighten the purse strings on third down (3-of-11), while coming up with two turnovers and a pair of sacks. Boomer Mays and Bass led the way with seven tackles apiece.

As motivated as the Eagles may be to play well for their fallen teammate, they are clearly the inferior team in this matchup. Expect Lynch and company to once again to have their way in keeping their unblemished record intact.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Illinois 56, Eastern Michigan 14

10/23 10:33:24 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
Final
WAS 102
ATL 106
Final
MIA 97
GSW 114
Final
MIL 98
DET 86
Final
NOP 89
SAC 99
Final
DEN 114
CHI 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
 
Final
UMO 21
OHIO 24
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
Final
ARST 71
ALA 76
Final
OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
Final
UNH 75
BU 68
 
Final
OU 70
CHIST 57
Final
TOL 79
DET 82
Final
CLMB 57
FD 47
 
Final
QUIN 50
HART 54
 
Final
SFLA 71
HOF 70
Final
HARV 84
HOU 63
Final
BONA 79
JST 71
 
Final
STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
Final
SYR 70
GHND 37
 
Final
MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
VT 54
NIOWA 73
Final
WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
Final
TEMPL 76
PENN 67
Final
RUTG 50
PETE 68
Final
BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
Final
LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
Final
UVA 79
TENST 36
Final
KENT 92
TXARL 44
Final
FSU 66
CITA 55
Final
PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
Final
COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
Final
WMARY 83
WILL 49
Final
USB 71
WKENT 61
 
Final
HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
Final
SMU 72
ARK 78
Final
ARMY 80
BING 54
 
Final
CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
Final
UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
Final
ARZ 72
KYST 68
Final
OREG 63
VCU 77
Final
PSU 78
AKR 72
Final
SCST 92
CIU 55
 
Final
CREI 75
EILL 53
Final
ALAAM 61
JVST 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 91
JCHR 65
 
Final
TXSA 57
LOYC 71
Final
NDST 64
MNCROOK 63
 
Final
NEB 80
NEOM 67
Final
VANDY 63
NORST 53
 
Final
STLU 57
NCAT 54
 
Final
MTST 65
NARZ 53
Final
TTU 75
NWST 64
 
Final
TULA 74
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ILLCH 87
STXAVIER 76
 
Final
TEX 78
RFLSH 46
Final
BRAD 52
TAMCC 38
 
Final
SMISS 72
TROY 70
Final
DRAK 73
IUPUI 60
Final
ARKST 58
LAM 63
 
Final
FLGC 62
USF 47
Final
COL 68
AFA 53
Final
IDAHO 75
BSU 86
Final
GRCN 64
BUF 80
 
Final
ORU 52
LALAF 76
Final
CHAR 74
MIAMI 77
Final
ISU 63
MD 72
Final
UMO 46
NW 55
Final
SACST 97
BRISTOL 63
 
Final
MICH 55
VILL 60
Final
SDST 74
PITT 57
Final
USC 53
CSFU 49
Final
STAN 84
DEL 47
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
12:00pm Today
FRES
MAR
 
12:00pm Today
CHAT
RMU
 
12:00pm Today
EMICH
ROCH
 
1:30pm Today
MRGST
LIB
 
2:00pm Today
HAMP
AMER
 
2:00pm Today
BEL
DEN
 
2:00pm Today
UMASS
NE
 
2:00pm Today
JMU
SHU
 
2:00pm Today
KNST
SAMF
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
 
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
 
2:30pm Today
OKLA
UCLA
 
2:30pm Today
CCAR
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
 
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
 
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
 
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
 
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
 
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
 
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
 
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
 
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
 
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
 
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
 
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
 
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
 
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
 
Final
CLB 2
WIN 4
Final
NAS 4
LOS 3
Final
STL 2
OTT 3
Final
DAL 3
EDM 2
Final
ARI 3
COL 4
Final
ANA 3
CAL 2
Final
VAN 2
NJD 0
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL