Lynch, Red team shine at spring football exhibition

By Jimmy Johnson

NIU football coach Dave Doeren said he wanted to see his starting offense jump to a fast start, and that’s exactly how the unit played Saturday during the controlled spring exhibition.

Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch guided the Red team offense two three first quarter touchdowns, as the squad featuring the first team offense and defense defeated the White team 31-6. The White team consisted of backups.

“I told them, ‘I want today to be fun. I want you to celebrate and be loose,” Doeren said. “At halftime, we talked about the next time we’re in here at halftime will be against Iowa next year…so it was a good day for us.”

Early on, Lynch looked comfortable in the pocket created by NIU’s offensive line, which feature four new starters. Three of Lynch’s four touchdown passes came in the first quarter, as he found running back Leighton Settle (11 yards), receiver Martel Moore (four yards) and tight end Luke Eakes (60 yards) for scores through the air.

“All I’ve got to do is, really, just give the guys the ball,” Lynch said. “They make me right most of the time, with the skill positions and the offensive line.”

Lynch accounted for all four touchdowns in the spring game, as his fourth touchdown pass came late in the forth quarter on a pass tightly near the right field sideline to running back Akeem Daniels, who bursted his way for a 75-yard score.

“Every day through spring, I’m getting tons of reps with only two quarterbacks, so I feel comfortable every day,” Lynch said.

The other quarterback who received snaps under center for NIU during spring practices was backup Matt McIntosh, who ran the White team offense. NIU’s first-string defense held McIntosh in check, as he completed seven of 21 pass attempts for 44 yards.

“Speaking on the defensive side, we just wanted to start off fast,” said NIU linebacker Tyrone Clark. “Start fast, come out with good tempo and keep it going through the whole day.”