Northern Illinois Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Northern Illinois Huskies
Mid-American Conference


One of the Mid-American Conference’s most successful programs, Northern Illinois has won ten conference and three division titles, appeared in 12 bowl games and accumulated over 500 victories. The school, based an hour west of Chicago in DeKalb, is the defending MAC champion and a winner in its bowl game last year, having come from behind to defeat Arkansas State in the Bowl. Northern Illinois recorded its second straight season of at least 11 victories and continued an upward trajectory of success that began in the later years of the Joe Novak era and continued under current Minnesota coach Jerry Kill.

2012 Record: 12-1, 8-0
Coach: Dave Doeren
Coach Bowl Record: 1-0

Big Wins: 9/22 Kansas (30-23), 10/6 at Ball State (35-23)
Bad Losses: 9/1 vs. Iowa (17-18)

Northern Illinois has an explosive offense that averages 40.5 points per game, more explosive than the offenses at Kansas State and Alabama and just a shade under offenses at programs like Florida State and Oklahoma. Of course, Northern Illinois doesn’t play the quality or caliber of opponents like the Big 12 or SEC do, but this is still no easy feat. It splits the offense equally between passing (3,063 yards) and rushing (3,252 yards). Its average of 482.6 yards total offense per game is enough to place Northern Illinois in the top quarter of all Division I FBS teams. The Huskies also have one of the stingiest defenses in the MAC and it ranks pretty well in college football (17.5 points per game). That combination of strong offense and picky defense has resulted in five wins where Northern Illinois has held its opponent under double-digit scoring.

Unlike MAC opponent Kent State, which defeated programs like Rutgers en route to the MAC East championship, Northern Illinois doesn’t have a big win against a ranked foe. No one is really going to have the fear of God hearing the Huskies blew out opponents like Buffalo, Akron and Massachusetts. Northern Illinois struggled with Kansas, which definitely isn’t a football school, and it lost by one point to one of the weaker Iowa teams in recent years. Its punting game (38.4 yards) isn’t the strongest, either. Still, the program won 11 regular-season games so it must be doing something right.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jordan Lynch, QB, 1,771 yards
Passing: Jordan Lynch, QB, 2,962 yards
Receiving: Martel Moore, WR, 1,054 yards
Tackles: Jimmie Ward, S, 90
Sacks: Alan Baxter, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: Jimmie Ward, S, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 245.00 (9th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 237.58 (57, 7)
Total Offense: 482.58 (16, 1)
Scoring Offense: 40.50 (12, 1)
Rushing Defense: 144.75 (44, 3)
Pass Defense: 220.00 (43, 4)
Total Defense: 364.75 (37, 3)
Scoring Defense: 17.50 (15, 2)
Turnover Margin: .75 (19, 3)
Sacks: 2.83 (14, 2)
Sacks Allowed: .83 (8, 1)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011 Bowl    Arkansas (38-20)
2010    Humanitarian Bowl    Fresno State (40-17)
2009    International Bowl    USF (3-27)
2008    Independence Bowl    Louisiana Tech (10-17)
2006    Poinsettia Bowl    TCU (7-37)

*all team stats through 11/24


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