Northern Illinois Huskies at Ohio State Buckeyes Game Preview


Editors note: The following was written by Josh Keatley. Submission issues prevented it being posted under his accout.

At 3:30 PM today the #1 Ohio state Buckeyes (2-0) will be taking on the Northern Illinois Huskies (2-0) of the Mid-American conference. The Huskies are undefeated so far this season and the chances of them earning 11 wins in 2015 are high. Northern Illinois is a fantastic team and after Ohio State the only other team on their schedule that looks threatening is Boston College and that should be a victory for the Huskies in my opinion.

Although their record is perfect they have had their fair share of struggles and that was obvious against the UNLV Rebels. Northern Illinois came out of that contest  with a 38-30 victory, but struggled with an extremely pedestrian Rebel offense. Last week the Huskies demolished Murray State of the FCS top the tune of 57-26, but even letting an FCS team score 26 points is an eyebrow raiser.

Most of the attention that Northern Illinois receives goes to the offense and while they do know how to light up a scoreboard, the thing that really sets them apart in the MAC is their lights out defense. Granted as expressed above their defense may not be be living up to their potential, but there is some legitimate NFL talent on that defense. They have shown flashes and a big stage game this Saturday may bring out that potential.

What to Expect When Northern Illinois is on Offense:

I want to start out by highlighting the Husky offensive line which is lead by arguably the best run blocker in the country and potential early round prospect Andrew Ness at center. His athleticism makes him extremely valuable to this run game, because of his quick feet and hands he consistently beats opponents off the snap. Aidan Conlon is another All-MAC candidate that does not have the NFL potential of Ness, but has proven to be a quality protector at tackle.

Obviously the spectacular Drew Hare at quarterback is a threat to score on every snap and he has not disappointed yet in 2015. Although Hare is only a junior, he has established himself as one of the most dangerous and effective scramblers in college football today. Hare has the quickness and speed to hit openings and make defenders miss every time he tucks the ball.

This team is spectacular and this offense is extremely impressive and I fully expect them to roll to an 11 win season, but our defensive backs should shine in this contest. Kenny Golladay has been a pleasant surprise at receiver for Northern Illinois, but that unit is where the talent gap is evident. I fully expect Von Bell and the boys to take advantage early and often.

What to Expect When Northern Illinois is on Defense

The Husky defense is what gets me excited and this should be much more of a test compared to the Hawaii Warriors game last weekend. Paris Logan is lock down and is one of the most impressive cover guys I have seen this season and even with his lack of size, his speed allows him to not be beaten. This will be a great match-up between Logan and Michael Thomas, but Thomas will surely get his touches. Watch out for Logan on special teams too, because he has the juice.

Former long snapper, Boomer Mays has carved out an impressive niche at linebacker and he has flashed the speed and strength to consistently make plays. He is surrounded by some intriguing talent and this is surprising considering the loss of Rasheen Lemon, who was not dominant by any means, but has shown flashes in the past. Sean Folliard has been another pleasant surprise at the other linebacker position.

The defensive line of Northern Illinois would be on the weaker side on the spectrum of Buckeye opponents, but they are experienced and lead by Perez Ford, who has been named to the Lombardi Award Watch list for his dominating efforts off the edge. This should be a great confidence booster for The Ohio State offensive line, but if they play like they have been it might be a rough outing.


the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to come out and roll the Northern Illinois Huskies and this will be an impressive victory for Buckeye Nation. I fully expect the defense to exceed expectations and dominate the Northern Illinois offense and this will be due in large part because of the lack of talent at the receiver position compared to our elite defensive backfield.

There have been many gripes and grumblings about the Ohio State offense and how fans would like to see faster starts and more of an identity, but I do not see us solving that problem today. I firmly believe coach Urban Meyer is still trying to figure out how to utilize his talent and although I think we still score a lot of points and look impressive, we still might have some questions. Predicted Score: Ohio State 42-0.

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