Huskie QB becomes first NIU AP All-American since Garrett Wolfe
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago/Mt. Carmel) earned Associated Press’ All-America Team as the second team all-purpose player and an honorable mention quarterback on Sports Illustrated’s All-America Team.
Lynch finished the regular season as the nation’s leader in rushing (1,771) and total offense (4,753).
He becomes the first Huskie to be honored by the AP since 2006, when Garrett Wolfe earned third team honors at running back. The NIU quarterback is also the first NIU player on the AP’s second team since Michael Turner did so in 2003. He is the seventh Huskie to be named on the AP’s first, second or third team.
In his first season as a starter, the junior commanded the NIU offense, helping the Huskies to a 12-1 record and the Mid-American Conference’s first-ever Bowl Championship Series berth: the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan.1. Northern Illinois currently owns the nation’s longest winning streak (12 games), the longest conference winning streak (17 games) and the longest home-winning streak (21 games).
In his 13 starts, Lynch completed 222-of-353 (62.9 percent) passes for 2,962 yards with 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions. In the last nine games, he owns a touchdown to interception ratio of 17-2.
He is the FBS leader in rushing yards with 1,771 yards on 271 carries with 19 touchdowns. Lynch has rushed for at least 100 yards in 12-of-13 games this year, including a NCAA FBS quarterback record 11-straight games, snapping the old record of five games.
At Ford Field during the MAC Championship game versus No. 18 Kent State, Lynch broke the NCAA FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season, surpassing the old record held by Michigan’s Denard Robinson (1,702). In the 44-37 victory that clinched the Huskies’ trip to the BCS, he amassed 372 yards of total offense (212 passing, 160 rushing) and four touchdowns (three rushing).
The performance by Lynch Nov. 30 marked the fourth time this season he reached the 150-yard passing and 150-yard rushing mark in the same game. The feat has been accomplished five times this season by five other quarterbacks, including Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Michigan’s Robinson, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Rice’s Taylor McHargue.
With one more rushing touchdown this season, Lynch will become only the fourth quarterback in FBS history to rush and throw for 20-or-more touchdowns in a single season, joining former Heisman Trophy winners Tim Tebow (2006), Cam Newton (2010) and former Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick (2010).
For his efforts in 2012, Lynch finished seventh in the final Heisman Trophy voting, marking the highest finish by a Huskie player in the Heisman voting since LeShon Johnson finished sixth in 1993.
Prior to the showdown with the Golden Flashes, the Chicago native was named the Vern Smith Leadership Award winner, given to the MAC’s Most Valuable Player as voted by league coaches. Lynch became the sixth Huskie in the last seven seasons to win the Vern Smith Award.
Last week, Lynch was named to CBS Sports’ All-America Team as a third team quarterback. The junior is now the first Huskie since Larry English in 2008 to be named to multiple All-America teams.
Aside from the MAC Championship game, Lynch’s biggest performance of the year came during NIU’s contest with division rival Toledo, when he became the first player in FBS history to pass for over 400 yards and rush for 150 in the same game. He finished the night with 407 yards on 25-of-36 passing and ran for 166 yards on 30 carries in the Huskies’ 31-24 win over the Rockets.