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Coach Dave Doeren praises NIU’s Zip-lock defense

Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for two touchdowns. He had 131 rushing yards put him over 1000 for season. |

Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for two touchdowns. He had 131 rushing yards to put him over 1,000 for the season. | NIU

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Updated: November 22, 2012 6:55AM



AKRON, Ohio — After the game at InfoCision Stadium, Akron’s band played in front of a few Zips fans who decided to stick around.

When the band finished a song, the fans let out a nice ovation. Unfortunately for the small crowd in downtown Akron, it was about the only thing it had to cheer for all day.

Northern Illinois dominated the Zips on Saturday in a 37-7 rout to improve to 7-1 and 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play.

Akron (1-7, 0-4 MAC), whose offense has put up points this season, gained only 199 yards. The Huskies had 528 yards on 83 plays. The Zips also turned the ball over three times.

“To get a victory, it’s something you’re proud of,’’ NIU coach Dave Doeren said. ‘‘I think any road victory is a big win.

‘‘The way our guys played on defense, to hold that team that averaged almost 500 yards a game to under 200 yards, I think it says a lot about our football team defensively.”

The Huskies’ defense held Akron’s rushing attack to 42 yards on 37 carries.

Zips tailback Jawon Chisholm, who came into the game averaging close to six yards per carry, was held to 13 yards on eight carries before leaving with an injury in the second half.

“I think it’s been that way for all of the games we’ve played, except for one, Army,’’ Doeren said. ‘‘Average it out for the season, last week [Buffalo was] 1.8 yards a carry.

‘‘I think we have a good defensive line. Our linebackers are playing downhill; our secondary’s tackling well.”

In the first half, the Huskies’ offense moved the ball well but had trouble punching it in, and Akron closed the deficit to six points with 1:32 left in the second quarter.

NIU, however, rolled the rest of the way. Quarterback Jordan Lynch had a 15-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the first half, running over Akron cornerback Avis Commack in the process.

Lynch ran for 131 yards, putting him over 1,000 for the season, and the Huskies would score 24 unanswered points.

One of the scores came from senior tight end Jason Schepler, who caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, his first score since the 2010 season.

The Sycamore product was wide open in the end zone on the play-action pass.

“It was pretty fun,’’ Schepler said. ‘‘I was just running my route, and I knew all the corners dropped down.

‘‘I’m like, ‘Oh, shoot, I might be wide open.’ I just looked back, and I was all there by myself. I was just concentrating on catching it. It seemed like the ball was in the air forever. It was a lot of fun.”

NIU will try to remain unbeaten in MAC play next Saturday at Western Michigan.



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