Huskies hope to take down Rockets, move onto Detroit

By Brian Thomas

Well, the stage has been set for Tuesday’s showdown between NIU and the Toledo Rockets.

While the Huskies (9-1, 6-0 MAC) were resting up on their bye week, the Rockets (8-2, 5-1 MAC) were in action Tuesday night against Ball State.

With a win, the Rockets would be tied for first with the Huskies at the top of the MAC West; however, the Cardinals did the Huskies a favor and knocked off the No. 25-ranked Rockets, 34-27.

This loss puts the Rockets’ backs up against the wall and makes them a desperate team coming into Huskie Stadium, as they will be looking for a win to keep their season alive.

Toledo has lost all of its momentum as its eight-game win streak was snapped and it will likely be dropped from the BCS standings and the polls.

As important as this game is for the Rockets, the Huskies have a lot on the line as well.

The Huskies will ride into the match on a nine-game winning streak this season, a 14-game winning streak in the MAC and a 20-game winning streak at Huskie Stadium.

As great as all these streaks are for NIU, this game presents an even bigger opportunity: a MAC West title.

With a victory over Toledo, the Huskies would clinch the MAC West Division and punch their tickets to Detroit to play MAC Championship game for the third straight season.

If the game plays out anything like last season’s 63-60 shootout, it will a game for the ages. Both teams feature high-powered offenses again, as NIU averages 40.6 points per game to lead the MAC while Toledo averages 33.6 points per game.

Despite the fact that these teams have impressive offenses, I believe this game will ultimately come down to the defensive side of the ball and each team’s ability to make stops.

NIU is second in the MAC, allowing just 17.9 points per game, whereas Toledo gives up 27.4 points per game.

The Huskies’ goal all season long has been to return to the MAC Championship game to have a chance to defend their title. Here is their chance.

Expect them to hold nothing back, as they have a date in Detroit.