GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Northern Illinois Wins 38-20

Twenty-eight unanswered points have propelled NIU to the lead.

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2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl, Northern Illinois Vs. Arkansas St.: NIU Wins 38-20

With the exception of the first quarter, Northern Illinois did not have a whole lot of trouble with Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Sunday night and took home the bowl championship with a 38-20 victory. While the Red Wolves took a 13-0 lead early on, the scoreboard would read 31-13 in NIU's favor before Arkansas State scored again.


Related: 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl, Northern Illinois Vs. Arkansas State: Conference Champs Duel

NIU built on an eight-point halftime lead with a 43-yard scoring strike from Chandler Harnish to Martel Moore in the third quarter and a chip shot field goal early in the fourth. Arkansas State finally was able to halt NIU's run at that point with a drive resulting in a 17-yard touchdown pass. But that was as close as they would get, and when the Huskies' Dechane Durante took a Ryan Aplin pass to the house a few minutes later, it was all over.

Aplin threw 58 passes in the game for Arkansas State, which couldn't establish anything on the ground. He also threw three interceptions. NIU's Chandler Harnish was 18-36 for 270 yards, two TDs and one INT.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl Score: Northern Illinois Leads Arkansas St. 28-13 Through 3 Quarters

Since getting off to a sluggish start and falling into an early two-score deficit, the Northern Illinois Huskies have controlled the play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, scoring 28 unanswered points to take a 28-13 lead into the game's final quarter.


Related: GODADDY.COM BOWL: NIU @ Arkansas State GAMETHREAD

A two touchdown second quarter propelled the Huskies to a 21-13 halftime lead, and they scored the only points of the third quarter on a 43-yard pass from Chandler Harnish to Martel Moore. Harnish, who was out briefly with an injury sustained in the first half, went over 3,000 yards passing on the season on Sunday night.

As the third quarter was coming to a close, Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin was intercepted in Red Wolves territory, giving the Huskies a great opportunity to extend the lead to three scores.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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Northern Illinois Vs. Arkansas State Score Update: Huskies Lead 21-13 At Halftime

After falling behind 13-0, the Northern Illinois offense got in gear and reeled off 21 unanswered points, including a touchdown in the waning seconds of the second quarter, and the Huskies lead by eight, 21-13, at the break.

Not even an injury to quarterback Chandler Harnish could stall NIU; reserve QB Jordan Lynch was 4-4 for 64 yards in relief and lead the team on one of its touchdown drives. Harnish eventually returned to the field and figures to continue playing in the second half.


Related: GODADDY.COM BOWL: NIU @ Arkansas State GAMETHREAD

Arkansas State ran just 12 plays for 39 yards in the second quarter, while the Huskies put together three drives that spanned at least 42 yards.

Neither team has had much success on the ground, but both have a wide out with over 100 yards receiving already.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl Score: Arkansas State Up 13-7 After 1st Quarter

What was supposed to be an offense-heavy bowl game hasn't been a disappointment so far, as there were four scoring drives in the opening quarter -- three by Arkansas State -- and 20 points scored in total. ASU takes a tenuous 13-7 lead into the second quarter.


Related: GODADDY.COM BOWL: NIU @ Arkansas State GAMETHREAD

It took Arkansas State a while to find the end zone, but it eventually built a 13-0 lead before the Huskies offense was able to answer with a score of its own. Chandler Harnish's nine-yard throw to Perez Ashford brought Northern Illinois to within six.

ASU quarterback Ryan Aplin was 6-8 for 123 yards in the quarter, and the two teams combined for over 200 total yards of offense.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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Arkansas State Vs. Northern Illinois, 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl: Time, Location, History And More

The Northern Illinois Huskies stumbled to a 2-3 start to this season, but now they're looking at the opportunity to close out the season with 11 victories. Currently riding an eight-game winning streak, Northern Illinois faces Arkansas State in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl on Sunday.

Arkansas State may be one of the few schools in the nation with as much momentum as Northern Illinois, though, as the Red Wolves are currently riding their own nine-game winning streak after running the table in the Sun Belt conference. They haven't lost since a Sept. 17 defeat against then-No. 13 Virginia Tech.

One factor that could shake things up is the coaching change in Arkansas State, though, as the Red Wolves are in the midst of replacing Hugh Freeze, who recently took the head coaching gig with Ole Miss, with former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Game Time, Date: 8:00 p.m. CST, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012

Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

Television: ESPN

2010 Winner And Loser: Miami (OH) 35, MTSU 21

Head-to-Head History: Northern Illinois leads, 6-1.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Northern Illinois Will Play Without 2 Key Defensive Players

If Northern Illinois is going to slow Arkansas State's high-powered offense enough to win the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl, it's going to have to do it without two important members of its defensive line. Defensive end Sean Progar was suspended for the game following a DUI arrest on Dec. 4. Ron Newcomb got hurt in the MAC championship game. Those two combined for 10 of the defense's 25 sacks.


Related: NIU Huskies Almost in Mobile for GoDaddy.com Bowl

For their part, the guys up front who will play are confident they can make up the difference:

"We've been primed to handle adversity all season," defensive lineman Nabal Jefferson said. "This is just another obstacle. We'll be fine."

"I think," said senior Kyle Jenkins, who will make his first career start, "we can carry the load."

The GoDaddy.com Bowl is set for Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m. CT.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012 Odds Update: NIU Currently A +1.5 Dawg

As the Northern Illinois Huskies and Arkansas State Red Wolves get ready to light up the scoreboard, the Huskies currently stand as a 1.5 point dawg in the game. The line opened at just a point, so the betting public has pushed the line to just another half point. There are a lot of points expected to be scored in the game by the two offensive powerhouses however, with the over/under set at 62 points.

Here's what OddsShark has to say about the matchup:

OddsShark Staff - The GoDaddy.com Bowl may not be a clash of college football titans, but it will put two exciting dual-threat quarterbacks on display when Northern Illinois faces Arkansas State.Junior quarterback Ryan Aplin leads the Red Wolves, while quarterback Chandler Harnish led the Huskies to the No. 13 offensive rank in the nation. This season the Huskies are 10-3 overall and 5-8 ATS against the number, while the Red Wolves are 10-2 and 10-2 ATS. As for the totals, Northern Illinois is 7-6 on the OU, and Arkansas State is 4-8.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Dave Doeren Does Not Expect Coaching Change To Affect How Arkansas State Plays

Arkansas State lost head coach Hugh Freeze to Ole Miss in December, and since that time the school has appointed an interim head coach and hired Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn to be the team's new head coach. Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren was asked how this might affect his preparation:

Because they retained David Gunn on the new staff and he was already the named interim coach and with 24 seniors, you operate under the assumption not a lot will change, especially with Gus Malzahn coaching players at Auburn. I don’t expect him to be really involved in what they do offensively.

This sort of scenario tends to arise every year, and teams usually stick to what worked in the regular season.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Dave Doeren Looking To Build Something At NIU With Contract Extension In Hand

The MAC Champion Northern Illinois Huskies and the Sub Belt Champion Arkansas State Red Wolves are preparing for the GoDaddy.com Bowl on January 8th, 2012, but Huskies coach Dave Doeren is looking even farther into the future as well. After leading the team to a 10-win season and a MAC Championship in his first year on the job, Doeren earned a contract extension with the school that now runs through 2017. After signing the deal earlier in the month of December, Doeren is now looking to create a perennial powerhouse at NIU, and it all starts with the GoDaddy.com bowl. With his extension in hand, the Huskies head coach spoke about what it means to him and what it says about NIU:

It shows they want to have another championship instead of waiting. Anytime you can have continuity within your coaching staff, which we're trying to do not just with me, but with the assistant coaches, it helps the process. It shows recruits that the administration is happy with what we've done this year and they want to continue the trend. For our recruits to see that they've extended my contract to five years just helps reinforce what I'm telling them - that we're here, we're excited about being here and the administration is excited about us being here.

via NIUHuskies.com. Northern Illinois is 10-3 on the season and will take on the 10-2 Arkansas State Red Bears in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Two Northern Illinois Players Suspended

Two Northern Illinois football players will miss the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl, both for alcohol-related infractions. Defensive end Sean Progar was arrested on Dec. 4 and charged with driving under the influence; wide receiver Anthony Johnson was cited for underage drinking, also on Dec. 4. The incidents came just a couple of days after NIU won the Mid-American Conference title, and it appears some post-game celebrations cost Progar and Johnson the bowl game.

"After gathering information, reviewing the details of both situations and talking to many individuals, including Anthony and Sean, regarding the events that occurred the night after the MAC championship game, we have determined that they will not play in the bowl game," first-year NIU head coach Dave Doeren said in a statement.

Progar, who leads the team with 5.5 sacks, is a tough loss for the Huskies defense.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl Odds: Arkansas State Slightly Favored To Beat Northern Illinois

The GoDaddy.com Bowl is still a ways off -- set for Dec. 8, it's the next-to-last college football game of the season -- but the early odds from Las Vegas have Arkansas State favored by 1-1/2 points over Northern Illinois in a game that could feature a lot of scoring.

Arkansas State is one of several teams that's gone through a coaching change during bowl prep; it's been a relatively quiet December of Northern Illinois, which won the Mid-American Conference title this season, but the Huskies have plenty of work ahead to improve on the defensive side of the ball and slow down an ASU offense averaging over 30 points per game.

Though if the Huskies defense struggles to get stops, NIU's offense is plenty capable of keeping pace with Arkansas State. That's reflected in the game's over/under, which is currently set at 63 points.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Auburn's Gus Malzahn Accepts Arkansas State Head Coaching Job

Arkansas State interim coach David Gunn is leading the GoDaddy.com Bowl preparations, but the school may have hit a home run for its future when it landed Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as its new head coach. Malzahn, who is expected to be formally introduced at ASU on Wednesday afternoon, knows the territory well:

Malzahn attended high school in Fort Smith, Ark., and later attended two in-state universities. He rose to fame as a high school coach in northwest Arkansas before earning his first college job at University of Arkansas in 2006.

Many were surprised that Malzahn did not land at a more high-profile location, as he'd reportedly spurned Vanderbilt, among others, in the past, but whatever his reasons, Arkansas State will be happy to have him on board.

It probably does not affect their bowl preparations much, if at all, but the players at least can put the uncertainty about their next head coach to bed, which can't hurt.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Arkansas State Prepares For Game Without Coach Hugh Freeze

Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze left the school to accept the same position at the University of Mississippi and he is taking a significant chunk of his ASU coaching staff with him:

 Among the coaches reportedly leaving are defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, quarterbacks coach Grant Heard, defensive line coach Chris Kiffen, tight ends coach Maurice Harris and linebackers coach Tom Allen.

This leaves interim head coach David Gunn, special teams coordinator Corey Batoon, wide receivers coach Tyler Siskey, offensive line coach Darren Hiller and graduate assistants Anthony Robinson and Travion Scott as the coaching staff remaining for the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Interim coach David Gunn has brought in a couple of coaches to help him prepare for the bowl game against Northern Illinois, but that's a lot of upheaval for one program to handle during the buildup to a postseason game.

Arkansas State won its last nine games to finish the regular season at 10-2.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.

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Spencer Hall: Northern Illinois-Arkansas State Is The Second Most Exciting Bowl Game

LSU and Alabama will get their rematch in the BCS National Championship Game and mostly everyone seems underwhelmed. But fear not! Just because college football's post-season system is fatally flawed doesn't disguise the fact that, you know, it's football, and football is always great.

As such, Everyday Should Be Saturday OG Spencer Hall decided to rank every damn bowl game based on pure watchability. Wouldn't you know it, one local team, the NIU Huskies, ended up No. 2 for their matchup against Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. 

Says Spencer:

Defense, off. DBs reaction time: sloth-like. Running lanes: toll-free until 11 p.m. and with an option for extended open hours if necessary. This game will outscore many Big Ten basketball games with ease, and be the perfect MACtion-tinged football junk food for the penultimate game of the season. (Especially leading up to the brutality of LSU/Alabama.)

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack.

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Northern Illinois Vs. Arkansas St. Game Time, TV Schedule And More

Northern Illinois will face Arkansas St. in the GoDaddy.com Bowl

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