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Northern Illinois 27, Akron 20: Huskies hold off surprising Zips

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The NIU Huskies defeat the Akron Zips 27-20 in a competitive homecoming victory.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

We got the good Akron team

You know, the one that almost beat Michigan. The numbers lied, looking at the lowly number the Akron Zips put up so far this season. This is a well-coached football team. Terry Bowden and especially Chuck Amato on defense know what the heck they are doing out there on the field. Jordan Lynch had no time to throw the ball all game long and was running all of the field. They couldn't get a good run game going, the secondary coverage was well disciplined. It was an amazing gameplan to stop NIU's offense and to be mildly productive against our D as well.

Deadly slow starts

I kept saying that the defense giving up a touchdown early was going to be a serious problem and it almost happened in this game. The defense needs to wake up early on in order to prevent a serious upset. True freshman OLB Jamaal Payton DID make his first start ever for Michael Santacaterina and that might have been part of the issue. The secondary played great, but did give up big plays. Just looking for some consistency on that side of the ball.

The missing kicker

Where was Matthew Sims? That was all I was hearing about on twitter and rightly so. Tyler Wedel made a 42-yarder. Fine. But after that he doinked his own player on an attempt over 40 yds and then at the end of the game you try Wedel again and Akron blocks it again? Unacceptable. Should be interesting to see how this one shakes out.

We won

Were we actually playing in Detroit? What a boring game, yet nerve-racking game at the end. What just happened? Is Akron that good? Is NIU already having trouble getting up for MAC games?

Oh and NIU set the MAC record for consecutive home wins with 23. Not too shabby. Jordan Lynch also entered the career 3,000 rush yds/4,000 pass yds club as the 10th member. What am I complaining about? I mean Northwestern lost and Michigan lost in 4 OTs.

Enjoy your homecoming.

GO HUSKIES