Northern Illinois Huskies (8-1, 5-0) vs. the UMass Minutemen (0-8, 0-4)
- Gametime: Saturday, November 3rd, 2012, 2:30 CST PM Kickoff
- Series History: First Meeting
- Location: Huskie Stadium, Dekalb, IL
- TV: Huskies All-Access ($$$) OR MAC Sports dot com free streaming
- Radio: WLBK 1360 (Dekalb), WSCR 670 the Score (Chicago), WTJK 1380 AM (Janesville, WI)
- Line: Huskies are -35 point favorites
- Weather: 43 with a chance of rain
- Visitor's Guide & Directions
- Fan Guide & Parking
- UMass Gamenotes
- UMass Roster
- Head Coach: Charley Molnar, 1st Year, 0-8
- Last Week Result: Lost to Vanderbilt 7-49
NIU was clearly banged up vs. Western Michigan last week. This week they hope to get back SS Dechane Durante, CB Rashaan Melvin and RB Leighton Settle from injury. The most important goal this weekend is getting some reps while remaining healthy.
Bring out the backups when we're blowing them out after the first half.
They are still in the process of moving up to D-I this year and are getting handled with a brand new coach. Just how close are they from turning the corner? They did give former East leader Ohio and Vandy last week a run for their money. Doeren talks about it in his presser:
"This week we come home and play a UMass team that's making the jump obviously to an 85 scholarship team. I've coached at that level with two different places that they were at. I know a lot about UMass' program from when I was at Montana. They've had a tradition of being a very good team. Blue collar, tough guys. They get really good players there. They're long. They can run. They're really young. You can see that Coach Molnar's playing some really young kids but they are athletic and they're long. They played Vanderbilt, at Vandy, last week and it was 7-0 with a couple minutes left in the first half. They're playing hard.
"Phil Elmassian is their defensive coordinator and Phil's been in Rose Bowls and big time games as a Division I coach at a lot of big programs. You can see that they're well coached in the secondary. We know that we're playing a well-coached team. They have a receiver that transferred from Notre Dame that's playing well for them. They have a running back that's a transfer from Michigan that's playing well for them. I know the record doesn't show it, but like every week, we're going to compete like we have to every week and try to come out of it with another win. The bottom line is we want to control our own destiny as we continue. That's the biggest thing we need to do at the end of this week."
Lynch needs to keep his Heisman numbers up to be considered. This is a good opportunity to rack up some stats against an inferior teams. Nothing to be ashamed of. How much will he rush the ball? How long does he stay in? All of these things are dilemmas when you have a bye week ahead of you and the most important game on the doorstep.