Since coming on the scene last season, Jordan Lynch has become one of the most well known names in the land of MACtion. But outside of the Mid-American Conference, little is known about Lynch, outside of his less than stellar performance against Florida State in the Orange Bowl this past January. But, Wednesday night on ESPN2 Lynch and the No. 15 Northern Illinois Huskies welcome the 9-1 Ball State Cardinals to DeKalb, Illinois to defend their 24-game home-winning streak and assert their dominance in the MAC West race. To get those less informed better prepared for Wednesday night's showdown here are five things you should know about NIU's Heisman candidate.
1. He can beat you in so many different ways.
Jordan Lynch has only started 23 games in his career and yet, he is one of only nine players in NCAA history to pass for 5000 and rush for 3000 yards in a career. Between last season and the first nine games of this year, he has tallied 75 total touchdowns while throwing only 11 interceptions. If you take away his ability to pass, he can beat you with his legs (just ask CMU, which gave up a record 316 rushing yards to him a few weeks ago). He's the active career leader in rushing, and he hasn't even played two full seasons yet.
And if you try to stop him from running, he's also a pretty efficient passer - this season he is completing just under 64% of his passes, has thrown for over 1870 yards, and has a QB rating of 145. And he even has a 17-yard receiving TD this season.
2. He has dominated the MAC.
Lynch is 14-0 as a starter against the MAC. No MAC school has been able to shut him down, and even slowing him down has rarely happened. In conference play, Lynch has amassed 3120 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and just 5 picks. Running the ball in the MAC has been just as easy for him, as he's gaining 6.75 yards per carry with 2044 yards and has added 23 scores. That's an average of 223 passing yards, 146 rushing yards, and 3.5 touchdowns per MAC game! Rarely will a player be able to break out for 370 yards and 21 points against a conference foe, Lynch does it nearly every week! The scary thing is, his numbers would be much higher had he not been pulled during the second half of 6 of those 14 games, that means in nearly half the MAC games of his career he played for less then 45 minutes!
3. If you focus solely on Lynch, you WILL lose.
Yes, Lynch is the machine that keeps NIU going, but as good as he is, the Huskies hope that the defense only pays attention to him. He has dominated in most every game he has played, but NIU has so many playmakers that by focusing all your effort on trying to stop Lynch, the rest of the offense is just as explosive and able to score. Cameron Stingily is a nice power back who's tough to bring down. Keith Harris, Joel Bouagnon and James Spencer are more than capable speed backs. Tommylee Lewis is also a speedster and can beat defenses as a receiver, a runningback, and even as a QB. All in all, thirteen different players have caught a touchdown this year and six have run for scores...NIU is more than just Lynch. And that is very scary.
4. Besides football, he is actually a pretty good bowler too.
There is more to Lynch than just football...in fact, it seems like he is good at any sport that requires him to throw a ball. Just a month ago, he tweeted this photo:
211 not a bad way to start my Tuesday pic.twitter.com/MubVx8klpi— Jordan Lynch (@Jordanlynch06) October 15, 2013
Just like he does on the football field, he dominates at the lanes too. Here he won by at least 50, and rolling a 211 is not easy. I'm lucky if I hit the 100 mark!
5. His taste in pre-game music is...odd to say the least.
One of life's biggest mysteries has always been just what does Jordan Lynch listen to before a game? Is it "Bodies" by Drowning Pool? No. "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC? Nope. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica? Heck no. It's not hip-hop, rap or heavy metal. Lynch has admitted that he begins a game with a good dose of Adele and Shania Twain. His reason behind the choice: "I play quarterback. I need to be mellow, and I need to be in control." Huh. Well, you can't argue with that logic, or it's results! And in case you were wondering, "Man, I Feel Like a Women" is indeed his favorite Shania song.