AKRON, Ohio - Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 223 yards and two scores to lead the Huskies to a 37-7 victory over Akron at InfoCision Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
NIU won its seventh straight game to improve to 7-1
on the season, 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference, while
While Lynch directed the Huskie offensive machine,
the NIU defense continued its dominance over MAC foes, holding
"We won the line of scrimmage, that's where it starts," said NIU head coach Dave Doeren, who improved to 18-4 in two seasons as the Huskies' head coach. "We tackled well and our secondary covered well. Coach Niemann and Coach Nielsen had a good plan drawn up and the kids executed it."
Doeren was not as pleased with the Huskies' offensive execution, especially early, as NIU was held to four field goal attempts and just one touchdown through the first 28 minutes of play. Kicker Mathew Sims made two of the four threes in the first half, including a 39-yarder with 6:16 in the first quarter to put the Huskies ahead 3-0. On NIU's next drive, Lynch hit senior Martel Moore from nine-yards out to complete a four-play, 30-yard drive after Giorgio Bowers had given the Huskies the ball back by causing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return.
The score remained 10-0 until 4:47 of the second
quarter as Sims missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. After NIU defensive end
Sean Progar forced a fumble at midfield, the Huskies drove to the
NIU started the second half by driving for Sims' third field goal of the game. The junior hit from 29 yards at the 12:09 mark of the third quarter and the Huskies led 23-7.
"Anytime you can go on the road and get a victory, it's something to be proud of," Doeren said. "The way our team played on defense, to hold them under 200 yards in the game is quite an accomplishment against a good passing offense. We have a good defensive front and our linebackers play downhill and when you have a good front seven, you can do some things defensively."
"We had two plays in specifically for Schep this week, but that wasn't one of them," joked Doeren. "I'm happy for him; he does so much for our run game that we wanted to get him in the end zone. "
Lynch closed out the scoring with a nifty 35-yard run on fourth-and-two as he spun and then outran the Zips' defenders to the end zone.
With the win, NIU's seniors became the winningest class in school history with 36 victories. Their win surpassed the total compiled by the 2011 class.