NIU football has a bye week Nov. 10, its first of the season.
In effect, however, the Huskies’ upcoming game against MAC newcomers Massachusetts is an off-day. All NIU has to do is show up and it will win.
I know, this has all the makings of the ultimate trap game, the huge underdog story, right? No; there’s a better chance that the stands will stay full after halftime at Huskie Stadium than the Minutemen securing their first win of the season.
UMass has lost all eight of its games this season. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the road, at home, or who they play. The only thing that makes me pause as to whether the Minutemen have a shot to win or not is the fact that their closest game this entire season was against the (until last weekend, unbeaten) Ohio Bobcats.
Other than that game, which they lost by just three points to the Bobcats, the Minutemen have lost their other seven games by a collective score of 297 to 56. No, that is not a typo or an eerily coincidental factoid. They have only scored 56 points in seven games.
Even with the addition of the Ohio game, that’s just 90 points. Ninety points is just 27 more than they allowed to Michigan, ranked No. 17 at the time, in week three of the season.
UMass’s defense has allowed opponents to convert in the red zone at an 89 percent clip. On fourth downs, teams are above 50 percent against them, and on third downs they are at 43 percent.
The seasons of the these two teams could not be a more pure example of polarization. One team has stock you want to buy, and one team aspires to have stock.
I understand that any team can win at any time, but in reality, the playmakers almost always triumph, especially over inferior talent.
When three of your standouts are graduate students who could barely sniff the field at their alma mater, you have a major talent deficiency.
The real game is fifteen days from now on Nov. 14th, against Toledo. I think everyone should still come to see coach Dave Doeren and his squad take the Minutemen out behind the proverbial woodshed for fun, anyway.