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Northern Illinois Huskies 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 Football Previews – (MAC) – Huskies

The Northern Illinois Huskies had an amazing season in 2012. They went undefeated in the MAC, and ended up playing in the Orange Bowl. Though they did fall 31-10 in that game, the season was still a huge success. Dave Doeren moved on in the offseason, and the Huskies will have Rod Carey as their new head coach.

Mid-American Conference 2013 College Football Previews: NIU Huskies
Head Coach: Rod Carey
2012 Record: 12-2
Northern Illinois Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: +2,000 (Part of Field)
Northern Illinois Gambling Odds to win MAC: +150

Expectations are high here, because this program has done a lot of winning under Coach Kill and Coach Doeren. Northern Illinois comes into the season as a heavy favorite to once again win the Mid American Conference. There’s no way the Huskies are going to catch anyone by surprise in the MAC, instead everyone will be gunning for them.

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Do they have enough talent to stay on top for yet another year?

Team Strengths:

Northern Illinois’ best player is its starting quarterback Jordan Lynch. Lynch ran for 100 yard plus years in 11 straight games last year. He also is a better passer than most realize. He threw 25 touchdown passes against just six interceptions. Lynch is a steady performer who is extremely consistent.

There isn’t a better leader in the conference, and his leadership is a major plus for this team.

The Northern Illinois offensive line was considered a question mark and a possible weakness heading into the 2012 season. As it turns out, the offensive line ended up being easily the best in the MAC. They didn’t enter 2012 with all that much experience, but they absolutely performed well on the field. As good as they were last year, this group should be that much better in 2013.

Tyler Loos and Ryan Brown are both excellent offensive tackles, and they will probably be playing on Sunday’s before long.

Jimmie Ward is an elite defender who is the leader of this defense from his strong safety position. Ward will likely lead this team in tackles this year because of his aggressive play on the field. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

The Northern Illinois front seven on defense lost a ton of talent from last year. Northern Illinois relied heavily on their pass rush last year, and their top pass rushes are no longer here. This defense has a couple of stars, but they aren’t loaded with depth on this side of the ball. If they don’t get a very good push from the front four, the Huskies are liable to struggle on defense.

Where are the play makers to help Jordan Lynch? Northern Illinois has the best quarterback in the MAC, but it sure would be nice if he didn’t have to do so much every game. Lynch takes a ton of hits, and if he happens to get hurt this team is really in trouble.

Some running backs and wide receivers need to step up and become play makers in 2013.

2013-2014 Northern Illinois Football Prediction: 10-3

Northern Illinois is still the best team in the MAC in my opinion, but the gap isn’t as big as it was a year ago. The Huskies lost too much talent on the defensive end, and I see that hurting them in some close games on the road this year. Northern Illinois has to play at both Iowa and Purdue in the non-conference schedule.

If someone else becomes a reliable play maker, this team could repeat its unbeaten MAC campaign in 2012, but I expect them to trip up somewhere along the way in 2013.

2013 Huskies Schedule

8/31/13 3:30 PM ET @IOWA
9/14/13 5:00 PM ET @IDHO
9/21/13 7:00 PM ET EIU
9/28/13 12:00 PM ET @PUR
10/5/13 3:30 PM ET @KENT
10/12/13 5:00 PM ET AKR
10/19/13 3:00 PM ET @CMU
10/26/13 3:30 PM ET EMU
11/2/13 12:00 PM ET @MASS
11/13/13 8:00 PM ET BALL
11/20/13 8:00 PM ET @TOL
11/26/13 7:00 PM ET WMU

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