The Northern Illinois Huskies celebrate their 114th Homecoming game this week by welcoming the Eastern Michigan Eagles to DeKalb. It will be both team’s first conference game of 2021, and both would like to start off on top.
The Eagles come in at 3-1, beating FCS-squad St. Francis (PA), UMass, and then running away against Texas State last week, 59-21. Their lone loss came at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers, a 34-7 loss in which EMU only had three first downs and 92 total yards.
NIU enters the game 2-2 on the season, with wins against ACC-foe Georgia Tech and FCS-squad Maine. They lost a thriller to Wyoming, that saw the Huskies erase a 26 point deficit before falling late, 50-43. Then two weeks ago, NIU was blown out 63-10 by one of the top teams in the country, the (now) #14-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
When: Saturday, October 2nd at 2:30 p.m (1:30 p.m. CST)
Where: Huskie Stadium — DeKalb, IL
Weather: Low 70s and sunny
Odds: NIU is favored by 1.5 points but EMU has a 59.1% chance of winning according to ESPN’s FPI
EMU has won the previous two games against the Huskies. The last time the Eagles won two straight games, it took them ten years to do - winning in November of 1987 then not again until November of 1997, when the Huskies rejoined the MAC.
The Eagles started the series alright, going 9-5 against NIU in the first 14 games. However, the Huskies have taken control over the past 60+ years. Since 1959, NIU has lost just seven times to EMU and has an overall record of 28-7-2 against the Eagles (which includes them going 17-1 against EMU from 2001-2018).
If the Eagles win today, it will be their first three-game win streak against the Huskies since they won seven straight in the 1950s...winning every year from 1952 until 1958.
My buddy Ken said in his preview that he thinks that the Eagles will win...I happen to disagree there. I think the Huskies use a heavy dose of Harrison Waylee, who is seventh in the NCAA in rushing yards, to keep possession and slow down the game.
NIU should have enough talent and depth to end the Eagles winning streak at two games...if the Huskies don’t shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties. Look for NIU to pull away late.
EMU - 24
NIU - 35