The Northern Illinois Huskies (4-0) became the first MAC team to defeat two B1G teams in the regular season as they dominated the Purdue Boilermakers (1-4) 55-24. The 31 point win tied the record for largest margin of victory over a Big 10 team by a MAC school (Toledo beat Minnesota by 31 as well, back in 2001). Not only that, but 55 is the most points EVER scored in Ross-Ade Stadium by an opponent...a stadium that dates back to 1924! Needless to say, this was a huge win for NIU in its quest to bust the BCS again.
Despite being out gained by 100 yards, the Huskies were dominant in every aspect of the game. Jordan Lynch, the senior quarterback, threw for 207 yards and three TDs and ran for another. Junior tailback Cameron Stingily was a beast, rushing for 72 yards on 15 carries and junior receiver Da'Ron Brown caught a pair of touchdowns. The defense added three more sacks (they now have 17 on the season and are tied for first in the NCAA) and created five turnovers (four INTs and a fumble), returning one pick 62 yards for a touchdown and another 50 yards. Even the special teams unit was spectacular, as Tommylee Lewis returned the second half kickoff 99 yards for a score and kicker Matt Sims was perfect on the day ( 7-7 on extra points and 2-2 on field goals of 31 and 44 yards). The Huskies, one of the most penalized teams coming in to the game, did a nice job limiting their infractions, just 5 for 45 yards. Purdue was flagged 7 times for nearly 60 yards.
All that being said, Purdue moved the ball relatively easily on the Huskies, actually out-gaining NIU in total yards 524-402. It was the first game this season that Purdue had gained more than 300 yards of offense, but with four of Purdue's five turnovers in NIU territory, and a turnover on downs late in the third quarter, the Boilermakers failed to do much on the scoreboard. If Purdue capitalizes on those drives, its a different ball game. But it was the Huskie defense that bent but did not break...something last years team had perfected. If they can continue to do that, 12-0 is certainly within reach.