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Running game key in football's MAC victory

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Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 9:16 pm

The Huskies’ dominating rushing attack was at it again in the team’s 38-24 victory over Kent State on Saturday.

The Golden Flashes had no answer for the Huskies’ ground game all day long, as the Huskies recorded 454 rushing yards. The 454 rushing yards are the eighth-most in NIU history.

On the day, the Huskies ran 98 total plays, 63 of them on the ground. On 47 first down plays, NIU ran the ball 31 times compared to passing it 16 times. The Huskies were able to sustain their drives throughout the game on the ground, as they picked 28 out of their 36 first downs

running the ball.

The Huskies were led by junior running back Cameron Stingily, who had a career day, running the ball 37 times for 266 yards and two touchdowns. That’s the most rushing yards since Garrett Wolfe set the NIU single-game rushing record with 353 yards in 2006 against Ball State.

Stingily was a workhorse for the Huskies as he was over the 100-yard mark before halftime. The Golden Flashes struggled to bring Stingily down, as he broke tackle after tackle and dragged defenders on his back, always fighting for extra yards.

“I’m proud of him,” said coach Rod Carey in a news conference. “He kept his pads low and held onto the football. I’m not surprised to see him have a game like this because of the work he’s put in.”

Stingily had plenty of running room as the offensive line opened up holes on seemingly every play.

“[I credit the] offensive line. I’m getting untouched for four yards,” Stingily said in a news conference. “I’ve got a full head of steam. Linebackers and safeties, I’m the same size if not bigger. [I just try and] punish them and get a chance.”

Stingily wasn’t the only Huskie running back to have a career day. Senior walk-on running back James Spencer scored his first career rushing touchdown while rushing for 42 yards on six carries. Quarterback Jordan Lynch had an impact on the running game as well, rushing for 94 yards on 14 attempts, picking up a number of key first downs.

The Huskies had multiple threats running the ball and that had an effect on the Kent State defense.

“The thing that makes them so effective running the ball is that you’ve got to account for the quarterback and when you overcompensate for one guy and you’ve got great wide receivers on the outside,” said Kent State coach Paul Haynes in a news conference. “That’s why they’ve got a good offense. They’ve got so many playmakers to get it done.”

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