On Thursday, the 12-1 Northern Illinois Huskies of the Mid-American Conference will take the field against the 8-5 Utah State Aggies of the Mountain West Conference.
Northern Illinois, behind the play of their record-breaking QB Jordan Lynch, had themselves another great campaign in 2013, and seemed poised to represent the MAC once again in their second straight BCS Bowl. However, in the MAC title game, Bowling Green changed all of that when they routed Lynch and the Huskies by 20 points.
Aside from that loss, the Huskies were a dominant force in the country on the offensive side of the ball, ranking fourth in the country in rushing yards at 312.5 per game and ninth in the nation in scoring at 41.6 points per game.
Utah State comes in also losing their last game of the season in their conference championship game. They out up a good fight, but ultimately came up seven points short of defeating the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Other than that, this team has also had a successful season. They were able to finish the season with eight wins, despite losing their dynamic QB Chuckie Keeton back in early October. Before that Fresno loss, the Aggies were on a five-game winning streak behind Keeton’s freshman replacement, Darell Garettson.
Date: Dec. 26
Start Time: 9:30 PM ET
Location: San Diego, CA
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN app
Prediction: Utah State is just too mistake prone at times. While Garretson did perform admirably in replace of Keeton, he also tossed five interceptions to his nine scoring strikes. Should this be the case on Thursday night, the Northern Illinois offense should be able to make them pay as Jordan Lynch looks to exit his collegiate career on a high note.
Northern Illinois 42, Utah State 17