The Northern Illinois Huskies extended their win streak to eight games with a 48-34 victory over Western Michigan in Week 9. The Huskies were caught off-guard on the road at the start of the game, but their offense reeled off 31 unanswered points to take control early in the fourth quarter.
WMU moved the ball on offense at the start, with Tyler Van Tubbergen connecting on two first quarter touchdown passes. The Broncos matched Northern Illinois punch-for-punch in the first half, taking a 21-17 lead into the locker room after 30 minutes.
But Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch took control in the second half, rushing for two third quarter touchdowns that put the Huskies ahead for good. Lynch punched it in from two yards out just over five minutes into the half, and the offense would never look back from there. He broke off a 20-yard rushing touchdown minutes later and suddenly the Huskies were ahead 31-21.
In the fourth quarter, Lynch moved from the ground to the air, adding two more touchdowns on passes to Tommylee Lewis and Da'Ron Brown. Despite a valiant fourth-quarter comeback attempt by WMU in the final eight minutes, that four-touchdown stretch from Lynch sealed it up for NIU. The Huskies were able to sustain drives throughout the second half, and consistently capped them with points to put it out of reach and improve to 8-1
Box Score Hero: Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was dominant in all phases. He was 18-of-28 for 278 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions through the air. He also rushed 21 times for 133 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. It was RG III-esque, and likely one of the best performances under center all season.
Rankings Ramifications: The Huskies are currently stuck in the "others receiving votes" category in both polls, but an 8-1 record should put them right on the doorstep of the top 25.
But Did They Cover? Northern Illinois was favored by 7.5-8 points in most places, and they held on in the fourth to cover.
Next Week's Schedule: Northern Illinois will return home to face a winless UMass team. Western Michigan will hit the road to face rival Central Michigan