NIU vs Kent State Thoughts: Huskies win 4 of 5 on the road

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Final thoughts from the 38-24 beatdown of Kent State by the Northern Illinois Huskies.

Just finished watching the whole game today after listening to the radio and watching bits and pieces on Saturday and boy was it hard to watch, especially early on.

The Weather and the road

It started raining really hard early in the first quarter and wouldn't let up until just before the second quarter was about to start and this affected things. Kent State looked terrible and the defense was actually able to force a 3 and out to start the game. Lynch begins his overthrows with a miss to Tommylee Lewis on a touchdown try, but Cameron Stingily was able to bulldoze people into the endzone to make it 7-0 Huskies.

On the next play, however, Dri Archer would return for a touchdown on a kickoff return because of great blocking and the fact that he is Dri Archer. Even Jimmie Ward got spun around and the speedy Tyler Wedel couldn't catch up to Archer.

Being on the road is tough. Playing in a monsoon is tougher. Lynch had to put his knee on the ground at one point to catch a pass in the shotgun. Sims would miss the kick. Just ugly all around.

Lynch's picks

These were a really annoying part of the game was Lynch getting picked right by the opponents endzone on overthrows. These are the worst things that can happen in football games, but it could be worse as Matt Shaub is not our quarterback. I found it interesting that we were passing so much when it was wet and gradually ran the ball down Kent's throats. It makes sense the other way around, doesn't it? Actually, Stingily ran a bunch in both halves, so this is a wash of an argument.

I liked the Da'Ron pass downfield for the TD. You don't want Lynch overthrowing just do fade routes all game.

He still had 244 yds passing and 2 TDs through the air.

Defensive Takeaways (The Jimmie Ward show)

It was hilarious on the first fumble that Jamaal Bass caused and Jimmie Ward recovered nobody really reacted to what happened on the field. Ward can just smell takeaway from a mile away.

He was one-on-one with Dri Archer on his interception. That is one thing that is going to look amazing on Ward's resume this season.

Ward's open-field tackles were amazing as well all game long. Jamaal Bass too.

Cameron Stingily

Doesn't care about your defense.

Underrated Running Backs

Yeah, Cameron Stingily was the star in this one, but what about Keith Harris and James Spencer? Harris had a 55 yd reception and a 29 yd run until he seemed to go down with an apparent injury.

Spencer was Keith Harris incarnate with a TD on the ground and through the air! Those little dump off screens to the RBs were extremely effective in this one.

All-or-nothing Defense

The defense was fine in this one, but still gave up the big plays. Dechane Durante diving for the pick when Dri Archer just ran past him was not fun.

The defense did a great job with stopping screen passes, which was refreshing.

No sacks today, but not too many chances. The Kent QB was running all over the place (mostly from George Rainey), tipping balls and they were rushing the ball a bunch as well when they weren't trying to go deep to Archer.

Secondary is still a mess. Paris Logan, Marlon Moore, etc. All these guys bite on play-actions like it's a snickers bar or something.

Penalties and timeouts

9 for 80 yds. Stop doing this. Timeouts were used up as the 4th quarter was starting. Don't do this again.

Tommylee's pink high socks

Only guy on the offense that had them. Perfect

It's crazy that Kent State was so close with NIU in this one, and it could have been closer. Almost 700 offensive yds is not a fluke, it's just tough sometimes to be that dominant on the road.

NIU has won four out of their first 5 games on the road and have homecoming this weekend vs Akron.

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