Football hopes to keep road streak alive against Akron

By Matt Hopkinson

As if NIU football didn’t have enough streaks active at once, it will put its modest five-game road winning streak on the line as is faces Akron Saturday.

Winners of their last six consecutive games and their last 11 MAC games, the Huskies (6-1, 3-0 MAC) will face an Akron (1-6, 0-3 MAC) squad that has been competitive, but has more often than not come up short.

“Akron leads the conference in passing, and they’re ninth in the nation in passing offense right now,” coach Dave Doeren said in a press conference. “They’re fifth in the league with 33 points per game on offense. They’re third in the MAC in total offense.

They’re about to break their school record in total offense here in a couple weeks. They’ve outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter, which tells you that they’re playing hard. I think that’s an impressive stat for any team.”

Akron is lead by fifth year transfer quarterback Dalton Williams, who has found a lot of success via the passing game. He has thrown for 19 touchdowns on the season.

Akron also features a highly talented freshman running back in Jawon Chisholm. The style of play featured by Akron will differ highly from that of Buffalo. While the Bulls were much more run oriented, Akron is at their best when throwing the ball.

Redshirt junior defensive lineman Anthony Wells knows that preparation for the specific opponent is key.

“It’s tough, but our coaches do a great job of putting together a game plan,” Wells said in a press conference. “The gap fits, the stunts we run, and the plays we call. Especially depending on the type of quarterback we’re playing. Whether it’s a passing quarterback or a running quarterback, we have to be gap sound.”

While NIU will have to worry about Williams defensively, Akron has been preparing for the challenge of stopping junior quarterback Jordan Lynch and the running game.

“They’ve had some tight ball games,” said Akron coach Terry Bowden in a press conference. “I tend to think they play down to some teams, because they can beat you… It’s going to be a great challenge because their quarterback can run, they have several Big-10 type running schemes, so we have got to have a great job defensively. It takes a perfect effort from our players because we lack the ability for a big timer to take two gaps.”