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Jordan Lynch gets Northern Illinois back on winning track

Quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) powers for touchdown from yard out thpushes Huskies’ lead 21-0. | NIU

Quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) powers for a touchdown from a yard out that pushes the Huskies’ lead to 21-0. | NIU

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Updated: October 10, 2012 6:41AM

DeKALB, Ill. — Northern Illinois might not have been perfect, but playing a Football Championship Subdivision opponent, they didn’t need to be.

NIU got off to the start it needed, scoring three first-half touchdowns while the defense held its own once again in a 35-7 victory over Tennessee-Martin. The Huskies extended their home winning streak to 16.

“When you’re down 21-0 on the road, not a whole lot of fun,” UT-Martin coach Jason Simpson said.

Once again, Jordan Lynch showed his running ability isn’t a joke. NIU often used the quarterback run play that was successful in Week 1 against Iowa, and Lynch ran for 60 yards on 11 carries. In the third quarter, he went up the middle for 32 yards to the end zone and wasn’t touched after he got past the Skyhawks’ defensive line.

Lynch went 19-for-25 passing for 214 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown toss to Martel Moore. It was a stark contrast to last week, when Lynch was just 6-for-16 for 54 yards.

“Playing in this offense, there are tons of guys around me — Leighton [Settle], Martel [Moore], Perez [Ashford], Tommylee [Lewis]. They make me right most of the time,” Lynch said. “We just threw a few bubble screens today, and they went for 15 yards. They helped me out a lot and, when that starts to happen, it leaves the box empty for a quarterback run. The offensive line’s doing a good job.”

Lynch was able to take advantage of soft coverage by the UT-Martin defensive backs.

“Like I said last week, when teams play soft coverage on the receivers, we’re going to throw the ball out there and we’re going to let those guys do what they do,” coach Dave Doeren said. “Jordan did a good job taking advantage of it, and we had a couple shots down the field that he threw nice balls on. We’re going to take what people give us. When we play a team that lines up with five in the box, we’re going to run.

“This team lightened it up a little bit at times, and Jordan did a nice job taking those opportunities.”

Settle ran for 106 yards on 21 carries, showing once again that he’s NIU’s go-to back at the moment. He also had help from the offensive line, which opened up some gaping holes.

Both Doeren and Settle liked the blocking up front. NIU’s junior running back was able to take advantage of it.

“It’s the running back’s job to find the holes and make something out of it,” Settle said. “That’s what happened.”

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