Huskie Stadium – DeKalb, ILL
Buffalo and Northern Illinois have met just 10 times previously. UB won the first meeting, but the Huskies are now riding a nine-game winning streak. NIU jumped off to a 28-3 halftime lead on the way to a 41-30 final.
Both teams are coming off losses. Buffalo fell to Ball State, 31-21, at home, while hosting Northern Illinois came up short in a 34-28 triple overtime loss to Central Michigan.
Here’s more on the two teams . . .
► For all their success in recent years, the Huskies have struggled against Central Michigan, which edged NIU in triple overtime Saturday. The Chippewas are the only MAC opponent to defeat NIU three times in the last three years. Central has also given the Huskies four of their six MAC regular season losses dating back to the 2010 season.
► NIU has played two triple-overtime games this year. In addition to losing to Central Michigan, the Huskies fell to Wyoming, 40-34, in the season opener.
► NIU forced three turnovers against CMU, Among them was DB Shawun Lurry’s first interception of the season. Lurry, who was among the nation’s interception leaders in 2015, later left the game due to injury. "It was good to see that (first interception). Unfortunately, he left the game after that with a concussion. To force those three (turnovers) was good. On the other side of it, we didn't turn those into points." Head coach Rod Carey.
► Quarterback Anthony Maddie completed 18 of 30 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
► Maddie has completed 59 percent of his throws with seven TDs and five interceptions. He ranks eighth among MAC quarterbacks in passing efficiency. "He's been running the offense at a pretty good rate. ... He brings complete control of the offense. He's got a good knowledge of it. His ability to run the football, too, has certainly helped." -- Carey on Maddie.
► The Huskies have two players among the MAC’s top 10 rushers. Maddie is seventh, averaging 68 yards per game. Joel Bouagnon comes in eighth with a 63.3 ypg average.
► Senior WR Kenny Golladay continues to lead the MAC and ranks 12th nationally in receiving yards and 14th in catches per game.
► NIU has won 17 of its last 18 games against MAC East teams.
► The Huskies are celebrating homecoming this weekend.
► Northern Illinois recorded a season-high five sacks at Ball State. That is the most Huskie sacks since five against Northwestern in 2014. "We're playing decent defense for the most part. Big plays kind of are the difference right now." -- Carey.
► The Bulls lone win of the season was a 23-20 overtime decision in game three.
► Quarterback Tyree Jackson hit 28 of 46 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns – all career highs – in last week’s 31-21 loss to Ball State. "It was his best game so far in his young career. We were able to generate some explosive plays. ... We had a couple big plays called back by penalties ... and a couple fourth downs that we didn't convert. Credit Ball State for takeing advantage of those." Head coach Lance Leipold.
► UB held a 14-7 halftime lead against BSU. However, the Cardinals tallied 24 straight points before a late Buffalo TD. "The first half, defensively, I thought we were able to get pressure and do some things. The second hlf, unfortunately ... the y ran the ball extremely well against us nd we didn't have enough answers," -- Leipold.
► The Bulls forced three BSU turnovers while staying turnover-free themselves.
► Buffalo surrendered 356 rushing yards (with Ball State averaging 6.0 ypc). Sophomore James Gilbert provided 264 rushing yards with two TDs.
► Buffalo ranks last among MAC teams in scoring offense (16.2 ppg) and is ninth in scoring defense (31.7 ppg).
► UB is 11th in pass efficiency and sixth in pass defense efficiency.
► LB Khalil Hodge is second among MAC defenders with an average of 11.7 tackles per game. Ishma Hargrove is eighth (8.3 tpg).
► We need to find a better way to slow the run game down. We haven't done a good enough job here of late. We know Northern Illinois is going to present another big challenge for us with a run game and a running quarterback." -- Leipold.