Man that felt good. Utter domination all across the board. This was a victory not just on offense, but also on defense along with special teams. Who would have thought that NIU would have gone for it on 4th down on their own 16 yard line? Justin Anderson gets another crack at the spotlight accomplishing that feat nobody expected at all in the 4th quarter to seal the victory. Just tough, hard fought play by everybody involved. Sure there were some mistakes here and there, but overall this was a classic Northern Illinois Huskie victory won through running the ball and dominating D.
This game was not nearly as close as the final score. Here are numbers that define the game:
First downs: NIU: 23, Purdue: 14
Third downs: NIU: 8-19, Purdue: 5-14
Total Yards: NIU: 454, Purdue: 335
Rushing: NIU: 280, Purdue: 147
Possession: NIU: 41:40, Purdue: 18:20
Turnovers were a bit of a wash, because even though Purdue lost 3 fumbles (2 on punt returns), Spann also fumbled it once somehow and Harnish threw a pass that was tipped up for an INT. Salerno also missed an easy field goal that would have made the margin of victory even larger.
Monkeys off NIU's back from this victory over the Boilermakers:
- First win over a Big 10 team in 21 years (19-17 win over Wisconsin in 1988)
- First win over a BCS opponent on the road in 6 years (19-16 over Alabama in 2003)
- First win over a BCS opponent period in 6 years (24-16 over Iowa State in 2003)
- Finally getting past the countless number of close losses to BCS schools since then
This sets Northern Illinois up not only for conference play, but puts up a ceiling so high that as long as the Huskies play to their ability, it's really hard to see them losing any time in the near future.
FORWARD, TOGETHER FORWARD
THE MAC HAD BETTER WATCH OUT