Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Lynch will finish his college career at the Poinsettia Bowl.It’s not the bowl that Northern Illinois had its heart set on, but a loss in the MAC Championship Game put the Huskies in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (9:30 ET, ESPN) instead of a BCS bowl. Let’s take a look at the top stats to know in this contest.
1-- This is the sixth straight season that Northern Illinois is appearing in a bowl. Prior to this stretch, the Huskies had been in only three bowls all-time. Northern Illinois has made one previous appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl, but would like to forget it (37-7 loss to TCU in 2006).
Northern Illinois lost its last game, but it’s been 38 games since the Huskies have lost two straight (second and third games of the 2011 season). In fact, since the beginning of the 2010 season, that’s the only two-game losing streak for Northern Illinois.
2-- This will be the last game for Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who capped off quite a career for the Huskies by finishing third in Heisman voting this season.
Most Career Rush Yards by QB
Lynch needs 119 rushing yards to become the first quarterback in FBS history to throw and run for 2,000 yards in the same season. He also has a chance to set the FBS quarterback rushing record.
He is averaging 350.5 yards of total offense per game, fourth in the FBS. He is responsible for 46 touchdowns (23 passing, 22 rushing, 1 receiving), second in the FBS.
Lynch leads all FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards per game (144.7) and ranks second among QBs in rushing touchdowns with 22.
Lynch has seven games with at least 100 passing yards and 100 rushing yards. No one else in the FBS has more than five such games. He also has 64 rushes of 10 yards or longer, most in the FBS this season and the most by a quarterback since Kent State’s Julian Edelman had 66 in 2008.
3-- When Utah State lost its star quarterback Chuckie Keeton to a knee injury in early October the season appeared to be over for the Aggies. However the team havs gone 5-2 since that injury. And the Aggies did it with defense. They’ve held opponents to 15.6 points per game since then, seventh-fewest in FBS.
Battle of Strengths This Season
4-- Utah State is the only FBS team that has not allowed a rushing touchdown of 10 yards or longer. Northern Illinois has rushed for 18 such touchdowns, tied for fifth-most in the FBS.
Utah State is appearing in its third straight bowl game. Prior to that, the Aggies hadn’t been to a bowl since 1997. Utah State beat Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season and is looking to win consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history.