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Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Junior running back Cameron Stingily (42) stiff arms the Toledo defense during Wednesday night’s game.  NIU won, 35-17, taking the MAC West title. It will head to the MAC Championship game for the fourth season in a row.

Breaking Down the Huskies

By Frank Gogola | August 26, 2014

Quarterback: Without a doubt, the difference maker for the Huskies is senior Jordan Lynch. As he goes, the Huskies offense goes.

Lynch produced one of the most historic seasons in college football history last season, becoming the only quarterback to run for more than 1,500 yards as well as throw the ball for more than 3,000 yards. Going into this season, Lynch looks to continue that success starting with Iowa. In the season opener against Iowa last year, it was Lynch’s first collegiate start and was seemingly one-dimensional, relying heavily on the running game. Lynch is a different quarterback than he was then so expect him to exploit the Iowa defense throw the air as well as on the ground for big plays.

Running back: Senior Akeem Daniels has had trouble staying on the field due to nagging injuries. Cue junior Cameron Stingily as he is expected to get the start and carry the workload for the Huskies. Stingily came into NIU as a middle linebacker but last season he was converted to running back. Stingily does not have a lot of experience under as belt as last season he made one carry for 5 yards. But he will be a strong addition to the run game as a power back, something the Huskies have lacked the last few of seasons. You can expect Stingily to pound the ball right up the middle and fight for every extra yard.

Wide receiver: Junior TommyLee Lewis comes in this season as the most experienced wide receiver on the team. He will need to step up to fill the void left by former receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford. With Lewis generally playing in the slot, he creates mismatches for defenses with his speed and is able to create a number of big play opportunities. He can make big plays by stretching the defense or catching short passes and running for big gains after the catch. Last season, Lewis made 48 receptions for 539 yards and five touchdowns.

Offensive line: Protecting the quarterback’s blind side may be the most important job for the offensive line. That’s why junior left tackle Tyler Loos will be such a factor against Iowa as well as the rest of the season. Last season, Loos and the offensive line did a great job of protecting Lynch’s blind side and they only gave up eight sacks all season. Loos and the line not only kept Lynch off the ground but they opened up numerous, gaping holes for Lynch and others to run through for big gains. If Loos and the rest of the line are able to contain Iowa’s bigger defensive line, the Huskies’ offense should thrive in Iowa City.

Defensive line: Last season in the Huskies’ matchup against the Hawkeyes, the Huskies recorded six sacks. Senior Joe Windsor led the Huskies that game with his two big sacks for a loss of 19 yards in limited action. In a backup role all season, Windsor made a case that he could even be a starting defensive end as he was third on the team with seven sacks. With Windsor’s speed around the edge he is a constant threat, and he should put a lot of pressure on Iowa’s new starting quarterback, Jake Rudock. Now that Windsor will start, expect to hear his name called a lot.

Linebacker: Junior Jamaal Bass is someone who just has a nose for the football. You can expect him to be around the ball at all times making big tackles left and right. Last season, Bass was third on the team with 83 tackles, 45 of them solo. He was behind senior defensive back Jimmie Ward and former linebacker Tyrone Clark. With the departure of Clark and his 86 tackles from last season, Bass becomes the leader of the line backing core. Bass doesn’t come in as the biggest guy on the field, standing at 5’10”, 225 pounds, but he makes up for it with his speed and ability to cover the field.

Defensive Back: The leader of the defensive backs and defense falls on senior Jimmie Ward.

Last season, Ward did it all for the Huskies. He led the team in tackles by recording 104 and 65 of them solo. His mentality for each game is to record at least 10 tackles a game and he prides himself on making big stops. He was also a ball hawk in coverage for the Huskies, leading the team with three interceptions and was second with 11 pass breakups. You can expect Ward to continue flying around the field this season recording tackle after tackle.

Special teams: Coach Rod Carey has said the keys to victory against Iowa are to have good ball control and a strong kicking game.

Although not really needed for anything more than extra points last season, senior kicker Mathew Sims has been more than reliable. Last season he went 15-19 on field goals. He’s also proven his clutch factor as he made one of the biggest kicks in NIU history, a 40-yard field goal against Kent State in the MAC Championship to tie the game and send it into double overtime. Sims has also proven he can be good from beyond 50 or more yards as he hit a 54 yard field goal against Western Michigan last season.

Football Fall Camp Notebook: ‘Frustrating’ QB battle rages on, Stingily’s ‘weird’ injury and more

By Frank Gogola | August 11, 2014

With football’s fall camp in full swing, things are beginning to heat up on the practice field.While no quarterback has emerged in the race to replace Jordan Lynch, a number of players, including Tyler Loos, Rasheen Lemon and Jamaal Bass, are making...

NIU President Doug Baker (right) unveils the NIU quarterback greats window Tuesday outside of the Lincoln Inn, 240 E. Lincoln Highway. This is the second year the city has partnered with NIU to honor Huskies players and athletics through window displays.NIU President Doug Baker (right) unveils the NIU quarterback greats window Tuesday outside of the Lincoln Inn, 240E. Lincoln Highway. This is the second year the city has partnered with NIU to honor Huskies players and athleticsthrough window display

Football update: QB still TBD; Huskies picked 2nd in MAC West; Football, Corn Fest to partner for home opener; NIU, DeKalb join forces for community window displays

By Frank Gogola | July 27, 2014

With football’s fall camp right around the corner, things are beginning to heat up for the Huskies.While the Huskies are still not sure who their quarterback will be, they know who their competition will be, as they weren’t selected to win the MAC...

Lynch faces stiffest odds to make an NFL roster

By Steve Shonder | July 20, 2014

With NFL training camps ready to get underway, four NIU alumni are hoping to make it through to the final 53-man roster in the NFL.Jordan Lynch, Jimmie Ward, Ken Bishop and Joe Windsor head into some tough position battles this week.Lynch faces the toughest...

Lynch signs with Chicago Bears as undrafted free agent

By Frank Gogola | May 10, 2014

Jordan Lynch, former NIU Huskies quarterback and Chicago native, signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent May 10.Lynch wasn't among the 256 players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft May 8 to 10, as fellow teammates Jimmie Ward and Ken Bishop...

No. 1 Story of the Year: Football goes 0-2 to end season

No. 1 Story of the Year: Football goes 0-2 to end season

By Frank Gogola | May 4, 2014

Football’s 2013 season went from a potentially historic one to one that ended in devastating fashion.After plowing through their first 12 games unscathed, the Huskies blew their chance to become the fourth non-AQ school to play in multiple BCS bowl...

No. 1 Athlete of the Year: Jordan Lynch

By Brian Earle | May 4, 2014

After rewriting the NCAA, MAC and NIU record books in his senior season, the clear choice for Sports’ No. 1 Athlete of 2013-2014 is none other than football’s Jordan Lynch.Lynch holds the NCAA record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback...

Redshirt senior quarterback Jordan Lynch carries the ball against Purdue Sep. 28 in West Lafayette, Ind. Lynch threw for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,920 yards and 23 touchdowns in his Heisman campaign.

No. 2 Story of the Year: Lynch finishes 3rd in Heisman voting

By Brian Earle | April 30, 2014

After a record-breaking season, quarterback Jordan Lynch became the first player in NIU to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, finishing in third place.It wasn’t the first season in which Lynch gained national recognition. As a redshirt junior in 2012,...

Quarterback Jordan Lynch scans and prepares to launch the ball downfield during Saturdays game against Central Michigan.

Race to Replace Lynch

By Frank Gogola | April 8, 2014

Football is searching for former quarterback Jordan Lynch’s successor, but it’s a search that likely won’t come to a close until the temperatures soar into the triple digits.Among the candidates to replace Lynch are redshirt junior Matt McIntosh...

BSU gets supplemental funding from SA Senate

By Betsy Mathew | April 7, 2014

Student Association Senate passed a resolution to provide $8,925 in supplemental funding to the Black Student Union at Senate’s Sunday meeting.The BSU is an umbrella organization that supports at least 22 organizations on campus.“We focus on unity...

Unionization a good move

By Steve Shonder | March 26, 2014

While Northwestern’s football team didn’t do much on the field last season, it’s certainly made its mark in the world now.Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled Northwestern football players are employees of the university, who are,...

Head coach Rod Carey talks about the Huskies beginning spring practice Tuesday at the Yordon Center. Carey said he is nowhere near ready to name a starting quarterback.

Football preps for fall

By Frank Gogola | March 18, 2014

Football’s preparing for life without quarterback Jordan Lynch, safety Jimmie Ward and a number of other seniors who graduated.Head coach Rod Carey, athletic director Sean Frazier, redshirt senior running back Cameron Stingily, redshirt junior offensive...