Utah State vs Northern Illinois Prediction

northern-illinois

Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:30 PM ET

R.J. Jackson: Utah State +1.5

Rodney Blaze: N Illinois -1.5

Roland Morehouse: Over 58

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12 Comments

  1. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Congrats to Lynch on getting third in the Heisman trophy race. Represent the MAC well! if you look at his stats game by game, you’ll see he’s been fairly consistent against all the teams he has faced. Every conference is going to have teams that are at the top of their game while others are the bottom feeders. As a percentage, the AAC, Big 12, and CUSA all had roughly the same amount of teams that won 4 or fewer games this year. A good team is going to win and a good player is going to get great stats. That’s just how it is.

  2. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    To think that Keeton could be a Heisman candidate if he never got hurt. That’s a tough loss, and I’m glad the Aggies finished 8-5 this year. Good for them. They can still be a 9 win team which should make you Aggie fans feel pretty good right now. Also, if and I mean IF Keeton never go hurt, this team could have gone 11-1. And this is coming from a Utes fan.

    • SharpNation

      December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks for the support, but it’s a bit off; Keeton wasn’t hurt during the USC game. Their defense was just scary, plain and simple. Of course, one could argue that Kevin Whimpey’s injury was what doomed the Aggies against USC… so if KW had never been injured, Keeton could be a Heisman finalist and the Aggies could be 11-1. ;) That’s a lot of imagining, but it’s fun for a bit. Thanks again for stopping by; Utahns gotta support each other, eh?

  3. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Utah State is a far better Defense than NIU has played all season… Fresno and USC can attest to that. Any NIU fan who denies this fact shouldn’t be taken seriously in any conversation about this match up. That being said, there is only so much that a defense can do without a supporting offense to sustain drives, rest the D, and keep the other teams stellar offense off the field. NIU will face the same challenge that a better ranked Fresno offense did only they will have to do it in a neutral location. This will be a good game so NIU fans stop acting like you were slighted by this opponent and stop degrading them… recognize them for the worthy opponent they are and be very thankful that you get to face them with the majority of their O line out as well as their star QB, because without that you wouldn’t stand a chance.

    • SharpNation

      December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      You really think Bowling Green’s defense is better than the Aggies? Yes, they are 5th in the nation for points against and USU is 7th, but who has Bowling Green played? Toledo? Kent State? Miss. State? They have a 2.5 point advantage over the Aggies per game but are playing significantly worse teams. This is the best defense you will play all year. This wouldn’t even be a game if we still had Chuckie and our O-line healthy. You’re getting a beat-up Aggie team, which is the only reason this will be a competitive game.

  4. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    What was the score of NIU versus the last MWC Team in a Bowl? Won 40-19 in the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl after being down 7-0 and Fresno scored a TD late in the game. Fresno was 8-4 going into the game. I know, don’t live in the past, but had the same talk back then of ‘we’ will blow NIU out . . just saying. Should be a great game and a good match up!

  5. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    How can a 8-5 team that hasn’t been ranked all season be “overrated”? With a third string QB, half the offensive starters out for the season and multiple injuries on defense Utah State still got to the MWC championship game. It’s surprising how childish and bitter Boise Fans are about being second place in the division. Fresno and SDSU both tried to give the game to Boise and they couldn’t take it. USU blew out SJSU on the road and won a close game with UNLV so they deserved to be there, not Boise. What “quality” wins does Boise have btw? Getting humiliated by Washington and BYU doesn’t count does it?

    I doubt USU will win this game, but they held Fresno (the 4th best offense in the country) to less than half their season average of points on their own field. NIU will probably win, but it will be close, and they’ll have to play well to beat the Aggies.

  6. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I might be the sole Utah State fan in Macao, China, but that won’t stop me from rooting for the Aggies. When I graduated 38 years ago, we also had a good team with Tony Adams and Louie Giammona. The last game I watched vs. Southern Mississippi, Hall of Famer Ray Guy kicked a 61 yard field goal, but then had a punt blocked and recovered by the Ags for the winning TD. I sure hope Keaton is not too brittle or prone to getting hurt. Winning the Heisman is always a long shot, but it would be cool if he became a star in the NFL because it would bring greater prestige to Utah State.
    Reply · · December 14 at 6:06pm

  7. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    The stingy Utah State defense should be able to shut Jordan Lynch’s running game down in this one. I don’t see NIU scoring more than 24 and it would not surprise me if they held NIU to well under 20. The problem for Utah State is their offense. NIU’s defense is not bad at all and USU will have trouble scoring. This will probably be a very low scoring game. USU takes it 17-14.

  8. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    no doubt that Utah State is an excellent defensive team. But, NIU was held to less than 30 points only twice in 13 games… averaging 43. I have predicted their scores pretty accurately so far. It will be a good football game. Utah State is the most improved program in FBS. They have come a long way in a decade. I agree that holding Derek Carr to 24 was significant… but we are a rushing team, not a passing team. We have two 1000 yard rushers. Lynch at 1900 yards and Stingily at 1100. When Lynch takes off, he tends to pile up the yards in big chunks. I see it as one of the better games of all the bowl games. I may have to revise this a bit. NIU 31 USU 24. Good luck in the game. P.S. I have several clients in Logan. It is a great town. Did you guys invent snow?

  9. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Obviously biased coming from Northern Illinois myself, but I think the Huskies are going to come out swinging. A conference championship loss is devastating – I think everybody was shocked at the outcome of the game last Friday. But Some of these players were on the team 3 years ago, when NIU lost the MAC title game to Miami, OH on a fluke play late in the 4th quarter; NIU came out on fire in the bowl game that year and pounded Fresno State. I expect the same this year, especially with senior All-American safety Jimmie Ward and obviously, Jordan Lynch. I haven’t seen any of USU’s games this year, but on paper the defense looks good. It should be a fun match-up, similar to what I thought the MAC title game would end up like with the defense of BGSU.

  10. SharpNation

    December 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Lol i didn’t bring up Boise State once in my post and you guys are trashing my team. This game has nothing to do with Boise State ( even though Boise State went into Utah State and beat them). This game is about NIU who has more quality wins than Utah State. Utah States signature win is UNLV. NIU beat IOWA away who is in the outback bowl. NIU lost in their conference championship to another team who is bowl eligible. Fresno State got smacked around by SJSU who isn’t even in a bowl game

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