by Dave Doeren
After back-to-back victories on the road, I cannot tell you how excited our NIU football team is to be back at home this Saturday to take on the Minutemen from UMass in front of our fantastic fans at Huskie Stadium.
With our win at Western Michigan last weekend we improved to 5-0 in the MAC and 8-1 overall. Our team is playing extremely well right now as we head into our final two home games of the season.
This week we earned national recognition by receiving Top 25 votes in both polls: 39 votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 12 votes in the Associated Press Poll. Our 13-game conference winning streak is the longest in the county and that is due in part to your support. These next two home games will be crucial for us to continue our success.
Consider this about NIU:
- Second-longest home game winning streak in the country with 19 wins
- Longest conference winning streak in the country (13)
- NIU, Alabama and Oregon are the only FBS teams to win 17 of their last 18 games
- Bowl-eligible for the fifth straight year
- Over the last 10 years, NIU is the winningest program in the MAC and leads all FBS teams in the state of Illinois since 2002
- Winningest team in the MAC this decade
Quarterback Jordan Lynch is having an amazing season and is the most productive quarterback in the country. He is the national leader in numerous categories and leads an offense that is ranked 11th in the country in total offense. Jordan is having a Heisman-caliber season, and we need your help in his campaign. Please spread the word about Jordan’s success–in email, Facebook, Twitter. The more he is talked about the better his chances are.
- #1 in the country in Total Offense (3,169)
- #2 in the country in Rushing Yards (1,185)
- #1 in the country in Touchdowns Responsible for (rushing and passing) with 32
- More Rushing Yards than 40 FBS Teams
- NCAA Record for Most Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games by a Quarterback with 7
- #5 in the nation in Rushing Yards/Game (131.7)
- #6 in the nation in Total Offense Yards/Game (352.2)
- #1 in the MAC in Passing Efficiency (152.2)
- #16 in the nation in Scoring (10 points/game)
Not only has Huskie football had great success on the field, but I am proud of our student-athletes’ performance in the classroom. We rank fifth in the nation according to the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), right behind schools like Northwestern, Boise State, Duke and Ohio State. Our Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is at an all-time high of 83 percent – second best in the MAC and 16th nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools.
Recently, senior noseguard Nabal Jefferson was named one of 15 recipients of the 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award. Nabal is the second Huskie player to win the award in as many years, following 2011 quarterback Chandler Harnish , making NIU the only school in the country to have a player honored in both years.
You should be very proud of the Huskie football team and everything these student-athletes are accomplishing. We need your continuing support to make Huskie Stadium a true home-field advantage and very difficult place for opponents to play. I invite you to come to the game and support our team. Your support will help us in our goal to win the MAC West and go back to Detroit for the MAC Championship for a third straight year. We ask you to bring your friends, family and coworkers and spread the word to students to come to Huskie Stadium Saturday at 2:30 PM to watch one of the best teams in the country take on the University of Massachusetts!
Dave Doeren is head football coach at Northern Illinois University.