Tag Archives: Northern Illinois Huskies

2017 Key Games For Week 12 In College Football

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Will quarterback Alex Hornibrook and the Wisconsin Badgers earn some respect with a win over the Michigan Wolverines?

 

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2017 Key Games For Week 10 In College Football

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Is Mark Richt ready to lead the Miami Hurricanes to their first trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game?

 

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2017 Mid-American Conference Football Projections

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East

X-Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 7-6 (6-3)

X-Bowling Green Falcons 6-6 (5-3)

X-Ohio Bobcats 6-6 (3-5)

Akron Zips 3-9 (2-6)

Buffalo Bulls 2-10 (1-7)

Kent State Golden Flashes 1-11 (0-8)

West

Y-Toledo Rockets 10-3 (7-2)

X-Western Michigan Broncos 8-4 (6-2)

X-Central Michigan Chippewas 6-6 (5-3)

Northern Illinois Huskies 5-7 (4-4)

Eastern Michigan Eagles 4-8 (3-5)

Ball State Cardinals 4-8 (2-6)

Mid-American Conference Championship Game-Ford Field-Detroit, Michigan: Miami (Ohio) vs. Toledo

Conference Champion: Toledo

2016 was a banner year for the Mid-American Conference on the gridiron. The highlight of this was seeing the Western Michigan Broncos go undefeated to win the MAC and earn a berth in the Cotton Bowl. And although that the Broncos would fall to the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten Conference in the contest, they showed tremendous grit as they would only lose by eight points. However the Broncos are now set to take step back after last year’s success.

After leading Western Michigan to an undefeated regular season, it was going to be tough for head football coach P.J. Fleck to remain at the school. And the money along with resources of the Minnesota Golden Gophers as well as the prestige of being in the Big Ten Conference were too much for him to pass up on.

Fleck has been replaced by Tim Lester as Western Michigan’s head football coach. Lester spent last year as the quarterbacks coach of the Purdue Boilermakers, but more importantly he is also an alum at Western Michigan as he is very familiar with Kalamazoo. But whereas it was the offense that carried the Broncos in 2016, the defense will have to shoulder the load this time around.

The Broncos arguably have the best linebacking core in the Mid-American Conference as it features a pair of seniors in outside linebackers in middle linebacker Robert Spillane and outside linebacker Asantay Brown, along with sophomore outside linebacker Drake Spears.

But if Western Michigan does take a step back this year as most people expect, a team that could be ready to benefit are the Toledo Rockets. Throughout this decade the Rockets have been close to breaking through to win the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference, but they’ve been unable to get past either the Broncos or the Northern Illinois Huskies.

However this could be the year in which the stars align for Toledo and they can get to the Mid-American Championship Game for the first time since 2004. Last year Toledo had the tenth best passing offense in the nation and they are set to return some key players to that unit.

Logan Woodside

Quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 4,129 yards while throwing 45 touchdowns last season. Woodside also completed nearly 70% of his passes and you will definitely hear his name in the conversation to be the Mid-American Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. Woodside’s main target in the passing game will be senior wide receiver Cody Thompson who after tallying 64 receptions, 1,269 receiving yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns in 2016 is in the mix to be the best pass catcher in the MAC this year. Led left tackle Elijah Nkansah and right tackle Brant Weiss, Toledo has one of the most experienced offensive lines in the MAC. And after the Rockets lived up to their name last year, expect more of the same this year for head football coach Jason Candle’s crew.

With Western Michigan and Toledo as the two best teams in the Mid-American Conference, it is only fitting that their meting on November 24 in Toledo will decide the winner of the Western Division. And for Toledo this will be their best chance to get to Detroit for the MAC Title Game in a very long time.

X-Bowl Eligible

Y-Conference Champion

Sources: Sports-reference.com, Cfbstats.com, Ourlads.com

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2016 Mid-American Conference Football Projections

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East

Bowling Green State Falcons 9-4 (6-2)

Ohio Bobcats 7-5 (4-4)

Akron Zips 4-8 (3-5)

Buffalo Bulls 4-8 (2-6)

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 3-9 (2-6)

Kent State Golden Flashes 2-10 (0-8)

West

Western Michigan Broncos 12-1 (8-0)

Northern Illinois Huskies 11-1 (7-1)

Central Michigan Chippewas 8-4 (5-3)

Toledo Rockets 8-4 (5-3)

Ball State Cardinals 2-10 (1-7)

Eastern Michigan Eagles 3-9 (1-7)

Mid-American Conference Championship Game-Ford Field-Detroit, Michigan

Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan

Conference Champion: Western Michigan

Coach of the Year: P.J. Fleck-Western Michigan

Offensive Player of the Year: Zach Terrell-Western Michigan

Defensive Player of the Year: Shawun Lurry-Defensive Back-Northern Illinois

2015 was another splendid year on the gridiron for the Mid-American Conference. Seven teams made bowl games while the Toledo Rockets scored a road upset victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southeastern Conference and the Bowling Green State Falcons were victorious against the Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten Conference. The success of the MAC saw Dino Babers leave the Bowling Green State Falcons to become the head football coach of the Syracuse Orange, and Matt Campbell left Toledo to take over the Iowa State Cyclones program.

As the 2016 college football season is set to begin, the Mid-American Conference will once again be a 12-member football conference after the Massachusetts Minutemen are now a football independent which shouldn’t in any way shape or form take away from what has gone on in this conference in recent years.

Although that Babers has left Bowling Green, there is still talent there in the form of senior running back Fred Coppet. Led by senior left tackle Jacob Bennett, the Falcons have a veteran offensive line that will allow senior quarterback James Knapke to get his feet wet under center.

Bowling Green was ranked 86th in total defense last year, but they have a strong linebacking core which consists of senior outside linebackers James Sanford and Trenton Greene, along with junior middle linebacker Austin Valdez. Senior cornerback Alfonso Mack has a nose for the football as he had 6 interceptions last year and he definitely has a future in the National Football League. Senior defensive end Terrence Bush could be a problem for Falcons opponents coming off of the edge as Mike Jinks who is entering his first year as Bowling Green’s head football coach has a team that is definitely worthy of winning the Mid-American Conference.

Frank Solich is set to begin his 11th year as the head football coach of the Ohio Bobcats and all that he has done there is win, but he and his program have gone under the radar. However will Solich’s coaching ability alone be enough to allow Ohio to hang with Bowling Green in the race to win the Eastern Division of the Mid-American Conference?

The Western Division of the Mid-American Conference will be a war of attrition as it is home to some conference heavyweights. The Northern Illinois Huskies have dominated this division in recent years, but there should be a push this year from the Western Michigan Broncos, while Toledo and the Central Michigan Chippewas will be laying in the weeds.

Last year there was a four-way tie atop the Western Division between Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Toledo, and Central Michigan, but who will reign supreme here in 2016?

P.J. Fleck

P.J. Fleck is set begin his fourth year as the head football coach at Western Michigan and he has a squad that is worthy of winning the Mid-American Conference, while he could get some attention if head coaching positions open up with bigger programs. Western Michigan senior quarterback Zach Terrell has to potential to be the MAC Offensive Player of the Year. And aside from Terrell, there is a plethora of talent at the skill positions for the Broncos that includes sophomore Jamauri Bogan, along with senior wide receiver Corey Davis. Defensively junior cornerback Darius Phillips and junior outside linebacker Caleb Bailey could both be All-MAC performers as Fleck arguably has the most talented team in the conference.

Northern Illinois heads into the 2016 college football season looking to rebound after their first six-loss season since 2009. As the Huskies look improve here in 2016 under head football coach Rod Carey, it will begin with their ability to run the football which has been a staple at Northern Illinois. The three-headed monster of senior quarterback Drew Hare, along with senior running back Joel Bouagnon and junior running back Jordan Huff will look to dictate the pace as they will be running behind an offensive line that features three seniors which includes senior left tackle Levon Myers.

Defensively for the Huskies, junior cornerback Shawun Lurry should be in the mix to win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back after a 2015 campaign that saw him have 9 interceptions, while senior outside linebacker Sean Follard has the blend of being a strong pass rusher that can also drop back into coverage.

Central Michigan has not been a serious title contender since 2009, but as they are set to begin their second season under head football coach John Bonamego, there is potential for them to be a dark horse. Senior quarterback Cooper Rush has the potential to be a 4,000-yard passer this season and he could put the Central Michigan offense on his shoulders and carry them to the conference title game.

Kareem Hunt

And although that Toledo was right there in 2015, it will take a Herculean effort from senior running back Kareem Hunt in 2016 if the Rockets are going to be able to leap frog the other contenders in the Western Division to make it to Detroit for the conference title game.

 

 

Games to watch in the Mid-American Conference are when Central Michigan hosts Western Michigan on October 1, the Western Michigan-Northern Illinois contest on October 8, and when Bowling Green travels to face the Huskies on November 1 as these games will have a huge bearing on who will win the conference here in 2016.

Sources: Sports-reference.com, Ourlads.com, Cfbstats.com

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2015 Championship Week

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A victory by the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship Game will get them the College Football Playoff Berth that eluded them last year.

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2015-2016 College Football Bowl Projections

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Goodyear Cotton Bowl-AT&T Stadium-Arlington, Texas (National Semifinal)

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Missouri Tigers

Two of the best defenses in the nation will be on display in a quest to advance to the national championship game.

Capital One Orange Bowl-Sun Life Stadium-Miami, Florida (National Semifinal)

USC Trojans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Trojans will give it their best shot, but Ohio State is simply a team on a mission.

National Championship Game-University of Phoenix Stadium-Glendale, Arizona

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

A second consecutive national championship by the Buckeyes would put them in a class that not too many programs have been able to get to.

AutoNation Cure Bowl-Citrus Bowl Stadium-Orlando, Florida

East Carolina Pirates vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

The first team to score 40 points will more than likely win this game.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl-University Stadium-Alburquerque, New Mexico

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. Utah State Aggies

This will be one of the first games of the bowl season and it could be one of the most exciting.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl-Sam Boyd Stadium-Las Vegas, Nevada

San Diego State Aztecs vs. UCLA Bruins

The Bruins could be a little bit disappointed to be playing in Vegas which could be just what the doctor ordered for San Diego State.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl-Cramton Bowl-Montgomery, Alabama

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

This game might not appeal to the casual fan, but there will be some good football on display.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl-Mercedes-Benz Superdome-New Orleans, Louisiana

Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Ball State Cardinals

Folks in New Orleans are accustomed to seeing the football fly around at the Superdome, but this time it will be the college kids that’ll be doing it.

Miami Beach Bowl-Marlins Park-Miami, Florida

Houston Cougars vs. Louisville Cardinals

It wasn’t that long ago that this was a conference matchup as Louisville and Houston each called Conference USA home.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl-Bronco Stadium-Boise, Idaho

Toledo Rockets vs. Colorado State Rams

The blue turf of Boise typically gives us a quality bowl game.

Boca Raton Bowl-FAU Stadium-Boca Raton, Florida

Memphis Tigers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

In 2015, Memphis and Marshall might have two of the most underrated football programs in the nation.

San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl-Qualcomm Stadium-San Diego, California

Air Force Falcons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini will be happy to go bowling, but will they be able to keep up with the triple-option attack of Air Force?

GoDaddy Bowl-Ladd-Peebles Stadium-Mobile, Alabama

Northern Illinois Huskies vs Georgia Southern Eagles

Northern Illinois will continue to show that they are the pride of the Mid-American Conference.

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl-Thomas Robinson Stadium-Nassau, Bahamas

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Bowling Green State Falcons

Spending Christmas in the Bahamas is not a bad present for Bowling Green or Western Kentucky.

Hawaii Bowl-Aloha Stadium-Honolulu, Hawaii

Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. BYU Cougars

The scoreboard operator at Aloha Stadium will have his/her hands full in this one.

St. Petersburg Bowl-Tropicana Field-St. Petersburg, Florida

Central Florida Knights vs. Rice Owls

This one will feel like a home game for the Knights of Central Florida.

Hyundai Sun Bowl-Sun Bowl Stadium-El Paso, Texas

Duke Blue Devils vs. Utah Utes

Duke and Utah will give the fans their money’s worth in this one.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl-Cotton Bowl Stadium-Dallas, Texas

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Will Northwestern be able to make it two consecutive bowl victories?

New Era Pinstripe Bowl-Yankee Stadium-Bronx, New York

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Once upon a time this was a conference match-up in the Big East Conference that typically resulted in Pittsburgh winning.

Independence Bowl-Independence Stadium-Shreveport, Louisiana

Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

The folks in the Palmetto State wouldn’t mind to see another showdown between Clemson and South Carolina before 2015 ends.

Foster Farms Bowl-Levi’s Stadium-Santa Clara, California

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Arizona Wildcats

Will either of these teams show up ready to play in this one?

Military Bowl-Navy-Marine Corps Stadium-Annapolis, Maryland

Navy Midshipmen vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina will have their hands full with a partisan crowd at Annapolis.

Quick Lane Bowl-Ford Field-Detroit, Michigan

Miami Hurricanes vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Will a bowl victory be enough for Al Golden to maintain his job as the head football coach at Miami?

Arizona Bowl-Arizona Stadium-Tuscon, Arizona

Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Wyoming Cowboys

This game will feature a pair of teams that are just happy to go bowling.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl-Amon G. Carter Stadium-Fort Worth, Texas

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Temple Owls

Temple doesn’t travel that well, but the fans of Kansas State will out be in full force in the heart of Big 12 country.

Russell Athletic Bowl-Florida Citrus Bowl-Orlando, Florida

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Texas Longhorns

This game will give the winner plenty of momentum for a big 2016.

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl-NRG Stadium-Houston, Texas

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

If you’re a fan of offensive football, then this is the contest for you.

Birmingham Bowl-Legion Field-Birmingham, Alabama

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies

If Texas A&M lands at this bowl, it could mark the end for Kevin Sumlin as their head football coach.

Belk Bowl-Bank of America Stadium-Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Florida Gators

Once upon a time, NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett began his college career at the University of Florida and now, he can finish his career against them.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl-LP Field-Nashville, Tennessee

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Tennessee Volunteers

The home cooking could just be what Tennessee needs to get a much needed bowl victory.

National University Holiday Bowl-Qualcomm Stadium-San Diego, California

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Oregon Ducks

Iowa will be happy to be in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl and all of the festivities that come with it, but they won’t be that enthused to meet Oregon on the gridiron.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Georgia Dome-Atlanta, Georgia

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

This isn’t a bad compensation for a pair of teams that had good seasons.

Outback Bowl-Raymond James Stadium-Tampa, Florida

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Penn State could be getting ready to re-emerge on the national stage.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl-Citrus Bowl Stadium-Orlando, Florida

Michigan Wolverines vs. LSU Tigers

Two former Michigan players in Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) and Les Miles (LSU) will lead their teams into battle in what should be a paint swapper type-game.

TaxSlayer Bowl-EverBank Field-Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State Seminoles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

The ‘Noles will have their hands full with the running game of Arkansas while the Hogs will have to deal with a partisan Florida State crowd in Jacksonville.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl-Liberty Bowl-Memphis, Tennessee

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels

This game will come down to which squad shows up ready to play.

Valero Alamo Bowl-Alamodome-San Antonio, Texas

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils will begin the college football season playing in the State of Texas and they’ll finish it there as they face a very tough Sooners team.

Cactus Bowl-Chase Field-Phoenix, Arizona

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Washington Huskies

The first team to reach 50 points in this contest will more than likely be the winner.

Rose Bowl-Rose Bowl Stadium-Pasadena, California

Michigan State Spartans vs. Stanford Cardinal

These two schools met in the 2014 edition of the Rose Bowl Game which was an epic battle and we could be in store for another to start 2016.

Allstate Sugar Bowl-Mercedes-Benz Superdome-New Orleans, Louisiana

Baylor Bears vs. Auburn Tigers

The first defense to step up and make a big play will win this contest.

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2015 Mid-American Conference Football Projections

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East

Bowling Green State Falcons 8-5 (6-3)

Buffalo Bulls 6-6 (4-4)

Ohio Bobcats 3-9 (2-6)

Massachusetts Minutemen 3-9 (2-6)

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 3-9 (2-6)

Kent State Golden Flashes 2-10 (1-7)

Akron Zips 1-11 (0-8)

West

Northern Illinois Huskies 11-2 (9-0)

Central Michigan Chippewas 8-4 (6-2)

Toledo Rockets 9-3 (6-2)

Ball State Cardinals 8-4 (6-2)

Western Michigan Broncos 7-5 (5-3)

Eastern Michigan Eagles 7-5 (5-3)

MAC Title Game: Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

Conference Champion: Northern Illinois

As the 2015 college football season is set to begin, will anyone be able to stop the roll that the Northern Illinois Huskies are on? The Huskies have played in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game in each of the last five years and they’ve done it with three different head football coaches. Rod Carey is in his third season as the head football coach at Northern Illinois and he has junior quarterback Drew Hare who could be the MAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Northern Illinois will face stiff competition in the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference as the Central Michigan Chippewas, Toledo Rockets, and Ball State Cardinals will all give them a run for their money. The Chippewas have a solid quarterback of their own in junior Cooper Rush while it’s all about the ground game for Toledo and their junior running back Kareem Hunt who is arguably the best tailback in the conference.

The Eastern Division of the Mid-American Conference isn’t as strong as the West and the Bowling Green State Falcons should have their way there as they look to reach the conference title game for a third consecutive year. Led by junior quarterback James Knapke, senior running back Travis Greene, and sophomore wide receiver Roger Lewis, Bowling Green has a ton of offensive talent returning under head football coach Dino Babers.

2015 looks like it will mark the third consecutive season that Bowling Green and Northern Illinois will meet in the MAC Title Game. The last two years have seen each school get the best of one another, but the Huskies appear to be a team on a mission this year.

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2014 Key Games For Week 15 In College Football

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Will Rich Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats shock the world once more by defeating the Oregon Ducks?

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2014 Key Games For Week 14 In College Football

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The Florida Gators will look to send head football coach Will Muschamp out as a winner, but it won’t be easy on the road versus the Florida State Seminoles.

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2014 Mid-American Conference Football Projections

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East

Bowling Green State Falcons 8-4 (5-3)

Ohio Bobcats 7-5 (5-3)

Akron Zips 5-7 (4-4)

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 4-8 (3-5)

Massachusetts Minutemen 3-9 (3-5)

Buffalo Bulls 4-8 (2-6)

Kent State Golden Flashes 3-9 (2-6)

West

Northern Illinois Huskies 9-3 (8-0)

Central Michigan Chippewas 10-2 (7-1)

Ball State Cardinals 7-5 (5-3)

Toledo Rockets 5-7 (4-4)

Western Michigan Broncos 3-9 (2-6)

Eastern Michigan Eagles 3-9 (1-7)

MAC Championship Game-Ford Field-Detroit, Michigan: Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

MAC Champion-Bowling Green

The Mid-American Conference is rather unique as it is the only Football Bowl Subdivision conference that has 13 teams.

Ohio Bobcats head football coach Frank Solich is hopeful that his squad has what it takes to win the MAC East for the first time since 2011 and their first conference crown since 1968. Solich lost a ton of talent to graduation, but you can expect senior wide receiver Chase Cochran to fill some of the void.

It won’t be that easy for Ohio in the East due to the defending conference champions in the Bowling Green State Falcons. Junior quarterback Matt Johnson threw 25 touchdown passes last year for Bowling Green and if he is able to exceed that number in 2014 he could be the conference player of the year. Junior running back Travis Greene gained nearly 1,600 yards on the ground last season and he could flirt with 1,800 mark this season.

In the past few years quarterback Jordan Lynch was the face of Northern Illinois Huskies football. Lynch is now in the National Football League, but the Huskies still have a ton of talent led by a trio of seniors in running back Cameron Stingly along with wide receivers Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown that should be able to carry the load for Northern Illinois head football coach Rod Carey.

For the Central Michigan Chippewas, their head football coach Dan Enos is hopeful that senior wide receiver Titus Davis and junior running back Saylor Lavallii can lead the way as far as spoiling the Huskies plans of winning the MAC West for a fifth consecutive year.

All in all this should be another exciting year of MAC football.

Sources: Sports-reference.com

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