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Eastern Mich3010720
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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
GT 80
NCSU 81
Final
LOU 78
UNC 68
Final
NYR 4
CAR 1
Final
UVA 63
DUKE 69
Final
ETST 61
NCCU 59
 
Final
DEN 86
CHA 104
 
Final
ORL 93
DAL 108
Final
IND 94
SAC 99
Final
WAS 116
TOR 120
Final
DET 114
HOU 101
Final
ATL 91
PHI 85
Final
MIN 90
CLE 106
Final
MEM 85
OKC 74
Final
MIL 95
POR 88
Final
DEN 86
CHA 104
 
4th
SAN 70
LAC 87
 
2nd
GSW 30
PHO 40
 
Final
TENN 71
AUB 63
Final
CLEM 64
BC 49
Final
STJOE 75
DAVID 70
Final
GT 80
NCSU 81
Final
PITT 76
ND 72
Final
STJ 75
PROV 66
Final
UNH 63
USB 48
 
Final
WVU 77
TTU 58
Final
TEMPL 55
TULA 37
Final
EMICH 69
WMICH 63
 
Final
IOWA 63
WISC 74
Final
SHU 90
XAV 82
Final
UF 57
ARK 56
Final
STET 75
LIP 73
 
Final
ILL 60
PSU 58
Final
TULSA 78
SFLA 71
Final
INDST 64
BRAD 58
 
Final
MAINE 59
GTDNS 77
 
Final
LEH 89
BU 86
 
Final
MARQ 68
BUT 72
Final
DEL 71
COC 68
 
Final
CREI 40
GEOR 67
Final
CLST 76
UWGB 62
 
Final
NEOM 65
MAST 75
 
Final
LOYC 45
ILLST 48
 
Final
KU 68
KYST 57
Final
JVU 50
KNST 51
 
Final
MSST 73
LSU 67
Final
SHU 71
MNTER 77
 
Final
VCU 55
RICH 64
Final
ISU 83
TCU 66
Final
BING 76
MLOWELL 69
 
Final
HART 46
VERM 65
 
Final
DEP 55
VILL 68
Final
WAKE 73
VT 70
Final
UGST 74
ARKST 43
 
Final
FAM 44
COOK 61
 
Final
NDAK 80
IDST 69
 
Final
ARMY 71
GHND 77
 
Final
BEL 71
TENT 53
 
Final
TXSA 57
UAB 65
Final
ILLCH 65
VALPO 70
 
Final
DRAK 70
EVAN 65
 
Final
IND 72
RUTG 64
Final
UMO 79
BST 73
 
Final
RMU 68
BRY 71
 
Final
WAGN 86
CCST 55
 
Final
GWEBB 66
CCAR 64
 
Final
MDES 92
COPST 82
 
Final
RFLSH 68
FD 63
 
Final
RIU 59
GWU 55
Final
SCAR 67
UGA 50
Final
Terriers 81
LIU 64
 
Final
PAC 71
LMU 76
 
Final
STLU 56
UMASS 60
Final
HOW 64
MRGST 48
 
Final
DREX 85
UNCW 76
 
Final
LOU 78
UNC 68
Final
MIZZ 47
MISS 67
Final
ALCOR 56
SOUTH 65
 
Final
NIOWA 70
WICHS 54
Final
JMU 65
WMARY 84
 
Final
RAD 73
WINT 66
 
Final
EILL 57
SIUE 54
 
Final
UNCA 70
CAMP 63
 
Final
MORE 57
EKENT 66
 
Final
NICST 58
INCWORD 69
 
Final
CMICH 74
OHIO 69
 
Final
TEXAM 69
VANDY 58
Final
UWMIL 78
DET 74
 
Final
UNCG 73
WCU 78
 
Final
EWASH 98
IDAHO 95
 
Final
SDKST 69
DEN 39
 
Final
SHSU 63
HOUB 52
 
Final
MVSU 75
JST 62
 
Final
TXST 63
LALAF 72
 
Final
LATU 81
MARS 57
Final
SD 72
ORU 73
 
Final
LAMON 67
SALA 61
 
Final
PVU 89
ALAAM 63
 
Final
GRAM 53
ARKPB 65
 
Final
PRIN 64
DART 53
 
Final
SCST 78
DELST 74
 
Final
COLST 80
FRES 57
Final
MINN 60
NEB 42
Final
WYO 63
NEV 55
Final
GAELS 62
PEPP 67
 
Final
NW 60
PURD 68
Final
BAY 83
TEX 60
Final
CHAT 78
CITA 73
 
Final
SMISS 62
WKENT 73
Final
CORN 57
YALE 65
 
Final
NORST 63
HAMP 60
 
Final
SAV 59
NCAT 62
 
Final
BGU 68
AKR 69
 
Final
KENT 70
ALA 55
Final
CLMB 86
BRO 65
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CSOU
 
Final
LIB 62
CSOU 74
 
Final
BUCK 69
COL 71
 
Final
UVA 63
DUKE 69
Final
NE 80
ELON 61
 
Final
CHAR 70
FIU 78
Final
ODU 68
FATL 57
Final
SAMF 68
FUR 58
 
Final
DUQ 62
GMAS 53
Final
PENN 38
HARV 63
 
Final
LBSU 65
HAW 50
 
Final
BONA 56
LAS 66
Final
NAVY 65
LAF 74
 
Final
PBY 67
LONG 71
 
Final
WOFF 49
MERC 46
 
Final
ETST 61
NCCU 59
 
Final
MCNST 68
NO 61
 
Final
FLGC 74
NKENTUCKY 64
 
Final
IONA 68
PETE 61
 
Final
UNF 74
USCU 79
 
Final
LAM 84
ABCHRIST 74
 
Final
GSOUT 76
ARKLR 61
 
Final
STEPH 61
TAMCC 51
 
Final
UCR 66
CSNO 62
 
Final
SELA 73
NWST 88
 
Final
OKST 56
OKLA 64
Final
UNT 75
RICE 65
Final
SDU 77
USF 69
 
Final
NMU 67
SJST 41
Final
PEAY 64
SEMIZ 70
 
Final
NILL 69
TOL 80
 
Final
HOF 72
TOWS 86
 
Final
SMU 75
UCF 56
Final
MURST 65
TENNM 62
 
Final
SDST 62
UTST 42
Final
MIZST 52
SILL 46
 
Final
TXARL 54
TROY 55
 
Final
TXSOU 80
ALAST 65
 
Final
TENST 45
JVST 43
 
Final
WASU 89
STAN 88
 
Final
GRCN 55
CHIST 56
 
Final
UTEP 83
MTST 70
 
Final
SUTAH 60
NARZ 81
 
Final
BYU 78
SCU 57
 
Final
NMST 53
TXPA 48
 
Final
NCOL 71
WEBER 57
 
2nd
UNLV 45
AFA 37
 
2nd
UCD 43
CPSL 47
 
Half
GONZ 43
MEM 25
 
2nd
UCI 54
UCSB 38
 
2nd
SACST 41
MONT 47
 
2nd
PORST 58
MNTST 43
 
1st
UCLA 27
COL 21
 
Half
CALST 29
SEAT 29
 
1st
WLVRN 25
UMKC 23
 
Final
DET 4
NYI 1
Final
NYR 4
CAR 1
Final
WIN 2
DAL 5
Final
NJD 3
FLA 1
Final
PHI 1
TOR 0
Final
TAM 3
CLB 1
2nd
CAL 0
EDM 2
 
1st Intermission
SJS 1
CHI 0