Posted: 1:54 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
By Bryan M. Vance
Northern Illinois entered today's game a 2-point favorite over the Boilermakers. Through two quarters the Huskies are showing that that might have been a bit conservative.
Jordan Lynch has been near perfect. He's thrown for three touchdowns and 195 yards on an eye-popping 16-of-20 passing. While NIU isn't running the ball nearly as effectively as it did last week (just 51 yards in this game so far) it doesn't need too. The Huskies longest drive took just 3 minutes and 24 seconds and ended with a 48-yard Matthew Sims field goal with 12:10 to go in the first quarter. That was their first drive of the game, since then they've scored on every drive but one, with possessions of, 2:03, 2:46, 2:06, and :38. Lynch and the offense have been so efficient that eight different Northern Illinois' receivers have caught a pass in the first half.
NIU is showing B1G fans what MACtion is all about, and with little fight from Purdue. The Huskies defense has shut down the Boilermakers, despite giving up 280 yards (which is more than NIU's quick-strike offense has managed so far). The defense is smothering, taking an effective bend-but-don't break approach, and has forced three turnovers so far. Since giving up a touchdown with 6:13 to go, NIU held Purdue scoreless until three seconds before half when the Boilermakers knocked through a 47-yard field goal.
Things have gotten so bad for Purdue that head coach Darrell Hazell turned to freshman quarterback Danny Etling, pulling him out of redshirt.