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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.

Quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) outflanks the Toledo defense and runs the ball downfield during Wednesday nights game. NIU won, 35-17.

Football remains without starting QB

By Frank Gogola | August 25, 2014

Football head coach Rod Carey isn’t committing himself to one quarterback — yet.The Huskies have been attempting to find former quarterback Jordan Lynch’s successor since the start of spring camp; however, no quarterback — of junior Matt McIntosh...

NIU and Western Michigan face off in their Nov. 26 match. NIU won, 33-14.

3-way Quarterback Battle

By Frank Gogola | August 24, 2014

Junior Matt McIntosh and sophomores Drew Hare and Anthony Maddie share their thoughts on their fellow quarterbacks, give a self-evaluation and say what it would mean to be named starting quarterback. Bob Cole, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach,...

Football Fall Camp Notebook: Bass may miss season opener, three-way quarterback race still tight and more

By Frank Gogola | August 21, 2014

With football’s season opener just more than one week away, the Huskies may very well be down a leader on defense early on as they continue their search for the offense’s new leader.Jamaal Bass may not play in season openerJamaal Bass, redshirt senior...

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...

Defense dominates Huskie Bowl

By Frank Gogola | April 20, 2014

So much for the Huskie Bowl’s change in format because of injuries to the defense.The Cardinal team (defense) dominated the Black team (offense), 72-37, in the Huskie Bowl Saturday at Huskie Stadium. The format was changed to a skills, fundamentals...

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...

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...

NIU quarterback Matt McIntosh (9) runs the ball towards the endzone during Saturdays victory over the Minutemen 63-0.

Huskies trample UMass in 63 point shutout

By Matt Hopkinson | November 4, 2012

For the first time since 2008, NIU football earned a shutout victory as it trampled UMass Saturday. The Huskies (9-1, 5-0 MAC) scored in every quarter against the Minutemen (0-9, 0-5 MAC), including posting 21 points a piece in the second and third quarter....

Forced turnovers play a big role in Huskies success

By Brian Thomas | October 23, 2012

When looking at the Huskies’ statistics through their first four MAC games, one statistic stands out as a reason for their success: turnovers. Early in the season, NIU (7-1, 4-0 MAC) struggled to maintain possession of the ball, as in its four games...

Lynch, Red team shine at spring football exhibition

By Jimmy Johnson | April 22, 2012

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...