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Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo Bulls football preview: Huskies look to continue conference success

The Huskies travel to Buffalo to face the Bulls, who are on the cusp of being bowl eligible in a MAC West vs. MAC East matchup.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Buffalo Bulls meet on Wednesday night at UB Stadium in Amherst, New York. Weeknight #MACtion continues with an opposition division matchup that features two schools that have went 7-1 in their last eight conference games combined.

The Huskies are seeking to improve to 7-3 overall and achieve a five game win streak against MAC opponents this year after being upset by Central Michigan to begin MAC play. A win would leave them on pace to control their destiny as they took care of business last week by defeating undefeated Toledo on the road at the Glass Bowl. It was a game of two halves with the Huskies prevailing late and showcasing that belief we've seen over the past five seasons. You can't sleep on Buffalo though as they are a formidable opponent and mentioned below have a great mix of offensive and defensive threats.

The Bulls would become bowl eligible with a win, as their overall record would move to 6-4. Their conference record would rise to 4-2 and keep them with an outside shot at taking the MAC East title. It seems highly unlikely as they would need Bowling Green to lose their next three games and win their next three games as well.

Overall, I see this being a big game for both schools as the season winds down. In terms of who it matters more to I would have to say Northern Illinois as they look to stay a top contented in the MAC West with a November 18th matchup with Western Michigan in DeKalb.

Players To Watch

Ryan Graham (QB,NIU) -- The spotlight will be on Graham as he gets his first start as a redshirt freshman after junior quarterback Drew Hare went down with a season ending Achilles injury. Graham looks to build off last week's performance where he went 9 for 12 with 132 and led the Huskies to a big win over then #20 Toledo.

Joe Licata (QB, Buffalo) -- Licata is 167 yards away from setting the Buffalo all time passing yards mark. Licata has thrown 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions and will have a considerable edge in experience over Graham.

Joel Bouagnon (RB, NIU) -- Bouagnon has been a nice surprise for the Huskies after Cameron Stingly departed after graduating last season. His numbers this year have been quite impressive achieving 949 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Brandon Berry (LB, Buffalo) -- Berry leads the stingy Buffalo defense with 79 total tackles and 47 solo. Berry is apart of impressive front seven where they will look to stop NIU's high powered offensive attack.