NIU vs Toledo
MAC Conference: Huskies take on the Rockets
November 9, 2016
compiled by Prez Ro
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First official contest at Guaranteed Rate Field aka U.S. Cellular aka Comiskey features the Mid-American Conference Northern Illinois (3-6) taking on Toledo (7-2) and they are calling it the “Chi-Town Showdown.”
By the game being held in Chicago, it’s a crucial locale in terms of former and future students, as well as alum for both schools.
“It probably doesn’t have everything riding on it the way people thought,” NIU coach Rod Carey said. “The same appeal might not be there, but it is a big game for those reasons.”
In addition, the MAC stakes couldn’t be higher for the Rockets.
NIU needs to win its final three games to qualify for a ninth straight bowl appearance, extending its MAC record. As long as there’s a bowl game to play for, the emphasis remains on the present rather than the unknown future.
The shocking loss to Ohio a few weeks ago forced Toledo to have to win out to take the MAC West – and that includes a showdown at Western Michigan after facing Ball State next week.
The offense continues to be amazing, averaging 553 yards per game with the nation’s second-most efficient passing attack. The attack moves at will, and outside of a few braincramps, the defense has been good enough. But now the Rockets have to face a red-hot NIU team rolling at the right time.
It’s been a tough season full of injuries and ineffectiveness, but the Huskies have taken care of two home games helped by an offense that’s going off.
Joel Bouagnon ran for 134 yards and five scores in last week’s blowout win over Bowling Green, while QB Anthony Maddie took over two weeks ago running for 125 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-7 win over Buffalo.
Can the NIU backfield go off against a Rocket defense that’s allowed more than 100 yards just two times over the last five games? Yeah, but the Toledo offense will make up for it with a strong enough offensive performance – the passing game will kick in – to win a thriller worthy of the venue.
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