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Five Things Learned: Kent State Golden Flashes at NIU Huskies

What did we learn from the Huskies 24-3 win yesterday?

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Northern Illinois Huskies got above .500 after a 24-3 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes. So what can we take away from NIU’s homecoming win?

1. Kent State is in for a long year offensively

Yes, when you lose your top two starting quarterbacks, your offense struggles. Just ask NIU last year. But this year the Flashes are using their third and fourth string QBs in tandum to try to move the ball and neither seem to work. Against NIU they completed just 6 of their 17 pass attempts and managed a mere 29 passing yards. That’s bad. Real bad. If defenses can stop the run, like the Huskies did, Kent State has no real way of moving the ball. Which means KSU fans will be pulling their hair out come December.

2. As bad as their offense is, Kent State’s defense can keep them around

The Huskies offense was on fire last week, netting over 400 yards of offense. Granted, they aren’t as good as say, Toledo but this week NIU was held to just 266 total yards. The Golden Flashes stifled Jordan Huff and kept him to just 58 yards on 18 carries. They also had two picks in the end zone and recovered a fumble. So maybe...just maybe the defense can keep KSU around in games.

3. Marcus Childers is the next Jordan Lynch?

Rod Carey pulled Daniel Santacaterina after just two offensive possessions that netted two yards. Childers came in and sparked the offense. He was rather effective throwing the ball (and could have had a lot more yards/TDs but his deep passes all were just a hair too far) completing 13 of 21 pass attempts for 114 yards and three TDs. He also had 17 carries for 65 yards, including a nice 21 yard scamper on third and 20. Childers was very Lynch-like and, as he’s just a freshman, NIU can mold him over the next three seasons.

4. NIU’s defense remains scary good without Kyle Pugh

The Huskies continued their dominance on defense, allowing just 131 total yards of offense in this game. They allowed just 29 passing yards and only 102 rushing yards; giving up just 2.3 yards per carry on the ground to a team that ran the ball a whopping 43 times. They forced four more turnovers (3 INT and a fumble), held Kent to 2-16 on third downs, and only gave up nine first downs all game. Look out MAC!

5. Sutton Smith is KING of that defense

Smith has been having an amazing season. He came into the game the nations leader in tackles for a loss and was tied for 21st in sacks...he added to both categories yesterday. He finished the game with 10 total tackles, five TFL, and three sacks. His play alone backed up KSU 46 yards! On the season Smith now has 28 tackles, 14.5 TFL (for -82 yards), 7 sacks (for -52 yards), two pass break ups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Up next Kent State (1-5, 0-2 MAC) will head back home to play Miami while NIU (3-2, 1-0 MAC) will take to the road to face Buffalo.