Sure, Molls thought Lynch could beat Toledo on the ground. Leading into Wednesday’s game, Lynch had recorded an NCAA record of eight consecutive games of recording 100 yards rushing as a quarterback and was ranked fifth in the country in rushing yards at any position.
But when it came to passing, Toledo was willing to take its chances against Lynch and concentrate its attention on him running.
“I thing we prepared more for him running,” Molls sad. “Obviously, he’s a great runner. I think the fact he can still hurt you throwing the ball ... caught us off guard a little bit.”
Lynch certainly made the Rockets pay for that on Wednesday.
He was 25-of-36 passing with a career-high 407 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. In the third quarter alone, he was 13-of-15 for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and led the Huskies to outscore Toledo 21-0.
“If we don’t have two turnovers, it might have been the best game for any quarterback we’ve ever had around here,” Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren said.
Lynch was especially proud of his play, because he did prove he is a QB capable of beating opponents in the air and on the ground. He rushed for a team-high 131 yards on 29 carries.
“I’m a quarterback first,” Lynch said. “I go out there and throw the ball out there. It’s hard to defend a dual-threat quarterback.”
Toledo coach Matt Campbell already knew Lynch was a unique quarterback, but his admiration only grew when Lynch defeated the Rockets and helped Northern Illinois clinch another MAC West division title.
“He’s a great player,” Campbell said. “I think the thing you know in this conference is the best quarterback in this conference has a chance to win a MAC championship. I think right now he’s playing at an extremely high level, and he’s a young man who plays very consistently.
“His ability to sustain his success over the last 10, now 11 football games, a lot of credit has to go to him. He’s certainly a special football player. He’s a got a lot of great football ahead of him.”