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Northern Illinois at Idaho 2013: Game Preview

I don't know anything about Idaho, but I do know the Vandals are in trouble.


Vandals. It may perhaps be the coolest name in all of college football. Names can be deceiving though friends. There is nothing cool about this mind-numbingly, Kobe Bryant rapping-bad Idaho squad. Nothing Vandal-like. Apologies to Mark Schlereth.

Idaho's next foe is Northern Illinois, the class of the MAC (or not depending on which Hustle Belt contributor you prefer reading.) The Huskies had a week off to prepare for Idaho following their 30-27 win at Iowa. Jordan Lynch and company were impressive in the win at Kinnick Stadium. The senior quarterback and Heisman dark horse threw for 275 yards, three touchdowns and added another 56 yards on the ground in what was certainly not an upset. Iowa lost its first opener since 2000, further blurring the line between Big Ten and MAC talent.

Ultimately it was the defense that stepped up though. Senior safety Jimmie Ward picked off a pass that eventually led to a Mathew Sims game winning field goal with four seconds left. Idaho will have its hands full against the Northern Illinois secondary. The Vandals have scored just 16 points on the young season, good for 124th in all of D-1 football.

I hesitate to include the names of the engineers of such an anemic offense, but maybe you can impress your friends with your knowledge of Idaho Vandals football. The lone bright spot has been quarterback Chad Chalich. The freshman has completed nearly seventy percent of his passes, and in blowouts against North Texas and Wyoming, did not throw an interception. Tailbacks Joshua McCain and Jerrel Brown will try and provide enough of a threat for Chalich to spread the field.

The Vandals defense is hopeless. They opened the season getting torched for 40 against North Texas before Wyoming hung 42 on them a week later. Idaho has given up over 1,100 yards of total offense through two games. The offensive production for those two squads pale in comparison to the sort of numbers Northern Illinois can put up.

This is not Game of the Week material by any stretch of the imagination. It could turn into a fun watch though. Grab your popcorn and see if the Huskies can go for 60.