Remember when Huskie quarterback Jordan Lynch set the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback? Just five weeks ago?
Well, NIU’s Heisman Trophy hopeful broke that record Tuesday night as the Huskies beat Western Michigan 33-14 to finish their regular season undefeated. Lynch rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another.
With the win, No. 14 NIU improves to 12-0 on the season and extends its Huskie Stadium winning streak to 26 games.
The victory also extends NIU’s conference winning streak to 25 as the Huskies close Mid-American Conference play with an 8-0 record this fall. Western Michigan closes the season 1-11, 1-7 in the MAC.
“Obviously the elements played a huge factor in the game,” said NIU head coach Rod Carey. “It was tough for both teams to throw and kick. I am really happy with the win, obviously. You run the ball like we did in those conditions, and score the points that you have to, and then hats off to our defense. We had some guys out with injury, and we held them to just 14 points, so overall I’m really pleased.”
Lynch’s 321 yards bettered his previous career high of 316 set on Oct. 19 at Central Michigan. He also became the fifth quarterback in FBS history with 5,000 career passing yards and 4,000 career rushing yards.
Junior running back Cameron Stingily (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville) rushed for 49 yards on 14 carries, eclipsing the 1,000-yard plateau for the season. Lynch and Stingily have become the first duo in school history to reach 1,000 yards in the same season.
NIU opened the scoring as Lynch found sophomore wide receiver Juwan Brescacin (Mississauga, Ont., Canada/Culver [Ind.] Academy) from 10 yards out to give the Huskies an early lead. The Brescacin touchdown capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive that also featured a Lynch connection with freshman running back Aregeros Turner (Copley, Ohio/Copley) for 23 yards on a key third down.
The Broncos pulled even, 7-7, on the opening drive of the second quarter. Dareyon Chance finished the drive with a touchdown run from a yard out to finish a 12-play, 63-yard drive for Western Michigan.
The Huskies responded just 87 seconds later, going 75 yards in six plays to regain a seven-point lead. Lynch found the end zone with a 29-yard scramble for the score, giving NIU a 14-7 lead with 9:43 to play in the half. The senior quarterback from Chicago also had rushes of 19 and 15 yards on the drive.
After forcing a three-and-out from the Western Michigan offense, NIU increased its lead to 20-7 as Lynch found the end zone again on a 36-yard carry. It took the Huskies just five plays to go 77 yards and increase their lead to 13 points going into the half.
On their first drive of the second half, the Huskies used 7:29 to go 78 yards in 18 plays, capped by a 23-yard Mathew Sims (Hannibal, Mo./Hannibal) field goal as NIU took a 23-7 lead.
Lynch found the end zone again with 1:36 to play in the third quarter, giving NIU a 30-7. Lynch went up the middle for 37 yards and the score on a one-play drive that gave the Huskies a 23-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Sims added a 32-yard field goal and Western Michigan’s Antoin Scriven scored from a yard out in the final period as NIU capped its fourth consecutive undefeated season at Huskie Stadium.
NIU will return to action Friday, Dec. 6, when the Huskies face either Bowling Green or Buffalo in the Marathon MAC Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, and will be televised on ESPN2.
- Motown #MACtion Madness! Travel packages available for Dec. 6 championship game
- Students can ride buses to MAC Championship