Over the course of NIU football’s last three games, the fourth quarter has been its time to shine.
As the games go on, the Huskies seem to be more physical on both sides of the football compared to their opponents, as they outlast them and pour it on in the fourth quarter.
Offensively, in their last three games, the Huskies have scored a total of 51 points against Army, Kansas and Central Michigan. Their highest point total came against the Chippewas when they scored 21 points.
In the Army game, Jordan Lynch was able to pick apart the Black Knight’s defense, as he hooked up with Martel Moore for two touchdowns, including a game-winning eight-yard touchdown pass.
Against Central Michigan, the Huskies were able to run over the Chippewas, as they ran for three touchdowns.
Leighton Settle broke loose on a 46-yard touchdown run, Keith Harris punched one in from four-yards out and even kicker Mathew Sims ran in a seven-yard touchdown.
On the defensive end, the defense has only allowed 12 points in the fourth quarter and didn’t allow Central Michigan to score.
In the fourth quarter, the defense looks like it gets stronger as it comes up with big play after big play.
Against Kansas, defensive end Joe Windsor and defensive end Alan Baxter each came up with big sacks in key moments to ensure a Huskie victory. Baxter recorded a seven-yard sack on Kansas’ final drive to put them on their own six-yard line.
Despite no sacks against Central Michigan, early in the fourth quarter, safety Duchane Durante forced a key fumble and then recovered it to turn the tide in NIU’s favor.
“I think we are a very good fourth quarter football team,” said coach Dave Doeren in a press conference. “One of the things that our tempo can do is wear people out, and you’ve seen that happen in a lot of games where we have been the best team on the field in the fourth quarter, and I think part of that is our conditioning and what our strength coach does.”