It all comes down to this. The NIU Huskies vs the Ohio Bobcats. Two similar MAC teams with similar dreams vying for the most important championship in the country. Sorry, but the SEC one won't matter because Alabama's not in it and the Big 10 doesn't matter because nobody wants to go to it. Other than that, what better place than the wonderful city of Detroit to host the good-ol Mic-American Conference, right?
Gametime is 6 PM and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2 to all the wonderful viewers in the world. This game will be the appetizer for the surely-bad tasting PAC-12 Championship that UCLA will make you sick to your stomach. Therefore, make this your main meal and don't stay for desserts.
Ohio Bobcats offense
Ohio starts off extremely similar to NIU as they returned all 5 starters on the offensive line from last year. Everybody knows that the offense starts up front, so if you like OL play, watch this game. RT Joe Flading was 1st Team All-MAC, RG Eric Herman was 2nd and LT A.J. Strum was 3rd.
At WR, I believe you all remember the uncoverable LaVon Brazill who burned the Huskies for two touchdowns the last time we played in Ohio in 2009. He is simply one of the best receivers in the league and will have to be the focus of the defense to cover this man. Rashaan Melvin, do your worst.
QB Tyler Tettleton is dangerous because he can move on his feet. NIU has been horrible vs mobile QBs (Wisconsin, Toledo, Buffalo, EMU...) It is going to be tough to get to this guy, but we can't let him hurt us that bad on defense.
RB Donte Harden is a 5'10" 183 player that returns kickoffs. Not an amazing back, but not bad either. A lot like Jas Hopkins.
Ohio Bobcats Defense
DE Tremane Scott (47 tkl, 6.5 tfl, 3 sk), MLB Noah Keller (75 tkl, 5 tfl) & CB Travis Carie (30 tkl, 3 int, 9 pbu) all made 2nd team All-MAC. The defense is ranked 4th in the conference and they are 3rd in both rushing and passing D. However, they are helped out by a very soft schedule so the adjusted number is actually tons more lower than that, 84th in the nation according to advanced F/+ stats.
Ohio K Matt Weller won special teams player of the year in the MAC, but is 2nd team to MATTHEW SIMS!! SUCK ON THAT ONE!
Again, keep the ball away from Brazill on punts and Donte Harden is the best kickoff returner in the league, even though he only made 3rd team All-MAC.
So there you have it. That is what Ohio brings to the table. Can they be defeated? Yes, they can. The team they remind me most of is Western Michigan, who we somehow dominated all game long. That won't happen tonight, but I do believe the Huskies will pull it out in the end. The only team that will beat NIU is themselves. Don't turn the ball over and don't get flustered on offense and the Huskies will take this one.