Idaho Vandals vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Free Pick - 9/14/13
Northern Illinois Huskies (1-0) at Idaho Vandals (0-2)
NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm (Kibbie Dome)
The Line: Idaho Vandals 24 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: not listed
The Northern Illinois Huskies head to the Kibbie Dome to face the Idaho Vandals Saturday.
Northern Illinois had a week off to recover from an exciting 30-27 victory at Iowa to exact revenge for last season's defeat to the Hawkeyes. This might have looked like all offense from the Huskies, but the defense made some crucial plays with three forced turnovers that led to some points. Iowa stopped the Huskies and Jordan Lynch on the ground, with NIU averaging around four yards on 42 carries, but stopping Lynch through the air was more of a problem. Lynch completed 25-41 for 275 yards and three touchdowns, with Da'Ron Brown and TommyLee Lewis combining for 12 receptions and 174 yards and the three scores.
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Idaho has struggled to find the end zone and have had an even more difficult time keeping opposing attacks out of the end zone. After a 42-10 loss to Wyoming, both trends continue as the Vandals have been outscored 82-16. The Cowboys won the battle for real estate 564-344, with Idaho mustering a 10-0 4th quarter to make things a bit more respectable. The Vandals needed their ground game to perform well to eat some clock and keep Brett Smith and a potent offense off the field, but 139 yards on 46 carries didn't get the job done. Chad Chalich and the receiving corps had some success in the air with a 22-32 effort for 182 yards, which seems like the most viable method of attack for this offense going forward.
Northern Illinois will try to establish the run, with Lynch leading the way and Idaho will likely go to the air often. The Huskies will cover if they take this team seriously and don't call off the wolves too soon, like Wyoming almost did.