7:00 PM ET, November 26, 2013
Huskie Stadium, DEKALB, IL
Jordan Lynch breaks own mark as NIU finishes perfect regular season
DEKALB, Ill. -- P.J. Fleck helped recruit quarterback Jordan Lynch to Northern Illinois, so the first-year Western Michigan coach had a good idea what the Broncos could expect Tuesday.
No amount of preparation, however, could counter what the Huskies senior delivered on a wintery night.
Lynch broke his single-game Football Bowl Subdivision rushing record for quarterbacks with 321 yards, and No. 14 Northern Illinois completed its first unbeaten regular season in 50 years with a 33-14 victory over Western Michigan.
Jordan Lynch is the fifth QB in FBS history with 20 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs in the same season. Three of the previous four won the Heisman Trophy, and the one who didn't lost out to another guy on this list.
|Pass TD||Rush TD|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
"Jordan Lynch is the best player in college football, and that's no disrespect to anyone else," said Fleck, a former Northern Illinois star receiver and assistant coach. "The reason is he makes every single guy around him better. He is what Northern Illinois is about. ... And with all the pressure, he continues to perform."
Lynch carried the ball 27 times in topping his previous record of 316 yards, set Oct. 19 against Central Michigan. He established the mark with a 6-yard run with 13:49 to play. He scored on runs of 29, 36 and 37 yards, and threw a 10-yard TD.
"It was fun," Lynch said. "It was hard to throw the ball in those conditions, and good thing we have a good running game."
The Huskies (12-0, 8-0 Mid-American) shook off the 17-degree temperature, brisk winds and occasional light snowfall to extend the nation's longest active home winning streak to 26 games.
"The elements played a huge factor in the game; it was tough to throw and to kick," Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said. "But I'm real happy with the win -- and how we ran the ball like we did in those conditions and scored the points. And our defense did a great job holding them to 14 points."
The Huskies also officially locked down their fourth straight West Division title Tuesday with their 25th straight conference victory. They will meet Bowling Green or Buffalo in the Dec. 6 MAC title game at Detroit's Ford Field.
Northern Illinois' only previous unbeaten season was in 1963, when the team went 10-0 and won an NCAA College Division championship. The Huskies moved into the major college ranks in 1969.
Stats & Info: Lynch Rushes Into Race
Jordan Lynch broke his own FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback. ESPN's Stats & Info takes a look at his incredible career. Blog
Running back Cameron Stingily ran 14 times for 49 yards and topped the 1,000-yard mark. It's the first time Northern Illinois has had two 1,000-yard runners in a season. Lynch has 1,755 yards.
"He's been important to us all year," Carey said. "Just because he got 1,000 doesn't validate him because he was already validated."
The Huskies stalled deep in Broncos territory on their opening drive, and kicker Matt Sims missed on a 34-yard field goal attempt.
But on the next possession, Lynch guided Northern Illinois on an 80-yard, eight-play scoring drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Brescacin for a 7-0 lead with 1:10 left in the first quarter.
Western Michigan moved to the Northern Illinois 1 and survived a goal-line fumble early in the second quarter when Chance completed the 12-play, 63-yard drive with a run up the middle to tie it 7-all.
Lynch, a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, topped the 100-yard rushing mark early in the second quarter and later bolted 29 yards for his 18th rushing touchdown of the year and a 14-7 lead with 9:43 showing.
SportsNation: Big things for Lynch?
NIU's Jordan Lynch broke his own FBS QB rushing record Tuesday. Is he a legit Heisman Trophy candidate? Vote! »
Lynch struck again with 7:31 left in the half with a 36-yard sprint as he passed 200 yards. Sims' extra-point kick failed, leaving Northern Illinois with a 20-7 lead.
Western Michigan was thwarted with five seconds showing as Andrew Haldeman's 37-yard field goal try was blocked. On a previous drive, Haldeman missed a 42-yard try.
Northern Illinois opened a 23-7 lead on Sims' 23-yard field goal into the wind with 5:38 left in the half.
Lynch scored his third touchdown on a 37-yard run, surpassing 300 yards as the Huskies extended the lead to 30-7.
Sims hit a 32-yard field goal with 12:52 to play.
Western Michigan broke a 50-minute scoring drought when Scriven's 1-yard touchdown run cut the Northern Illinois lead to 33-14 with 4:40 to play.
Tuesday's game was the final home game for Lynch and 16 other Northern Illinois seniors. It also was the finale for Diesel, a 10-year-old purebred Husky who served as team mascot for nine seasons.
Northern Illinois beat Western Michigan for the fifth straight time but the Broncos still lead the overall series 23-16 and are 11-9 in DeKalb.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Jordan Lynch's 37-yard TD run, his third rushing touchdown of the night, put Northern Illinois up 30-7 late in Tuesday's third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Lynch rushed for 321 yards and three touchdowns, throwing for another TD, as he helped NIU remain undefeated.
Stat of the game... 321. Lynch broke his single-game rushing record for QBs with 321 yards, topping his previous record of 316 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-14||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||2-2|
|TD||01:10||Juwan Brescacin 10 Yd Pass From Jordan Lynch (Mathew Sims Kick) |
|TD||11:09||Dareyon Chance 1 Yd Run (Andrew Haldeman Kick) |
|TD||09:43||Jordan Lynch 29 Yd Run (Mathew Sims Kick) |
|TD||07:31||Jordan Lynch 36 Yd Run (Pat Failed) |
|FG||05:30||Mathew Sims 23 Yd |
|TD||01:36||Jordan Lynch 37 Yd Run (Mathew Sims Kick) |
|FG||12:52||Mathew Sims 32 Yd |
|TD||04:40||Antoin Scriven 1 Yd Run (Andrew Haldeman Kick) |
Jordan Lynch is the 5th QB in FBS history with 20 Pass TD and 20 Rush TD in the same season. Three of the previous 4 won the Heisman Trophy, and the one that didn't lost out to another guy on this list.[+]
There have been five 300+ yard rushing games in FBS this season. Jordan Lynch has been responsible for two of them.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information