Questions raised about NIU football

By Matt Hopkinson

While the mention of Kansas always invokes the image of dust in the wind and the temptation to sing badly, music is not my topic.

Following the 30-23 victory for NIU football over Kansas Saturday afternoon, I have a few question.

The questions I’ve had on whether or not junior quarterback Jordan Lynch can throw the ball have been answered, loudly and clearly, as evidenced both against Army and the Jayhawks.

What I’m left wondering now is: Does the same thing that make the Huskies offense so explosive and effective also put a snag into their effectiveness as a team?

While the time of possession was not really an issue against Kansas, it was against Army. Not only because the Black Knights held the ball much longer, but because NIU scored so fast.

All but one of their drives were under 1:30. Think about that: just one minute and thirty seconds to score a touchdown? That’s like playing Madden 2004 with Michael Vick against the Cleveland Browns.

NIU employs a no-huddle offense, so there is limited time taken away from the clock in that regard. Add in the fact that they are attempting to maximize the no-huddle to its full advantages of trying to catch the defense out of position, so they’re moving even faster.

When this works, it tires out the defense, pressures them into being out of position and forces matchup problems. It also maximizes the playmakers’ speed and strength potentials.

Where this can be a downfall is evidenced by the game against Army, when the opposing team can grind out its possession and force the defense to be on the field for over half the game.

NIU is more than sound on both sides of the ball. If their offense is doing it’s job correctly, they’re scoring early and often, but they’re also scoring quickly. This leaves the defense with the pressure of either shutting down the opposing team in similar quickness, or leaves them out on the field for long periods of time, sapping their strength and effectiveness as the game wears on.

I can’t legitimately argue with success, as the Huskies are 3-1 on the year, in what easily could have been 4-0. I’m just keeping a curious eye on something that has the potential to both add and subtract.

We’ll see what side of the scale the variable ends up on as the season carries on, my wayward son.