The MAC Chmapionship and a spot in an BCS Bowl Game are riding on Friday night’s (8:00 pm ET) MAC Chmapionship Game between the Bowling Green Falcons (9-3) and the 14th ranked Northern Illinois Huskies (12-0) at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. Bowling Green has won 5 games in a row since a week 7 21-20 loss at Mississippi St., including a 24-7 win at Buffalo last week. NIU has steam rolled through the regular season so far, and has defeated Iowa (30-27 in week 1) and Purdue (55-24 in week 4) of the Big 10 0n the road this season, and the Huskies defeated Western Michigan 33-14 last week at home to wrap up the MAC regular season.
Bowling Green ranks 27th among FBS teams in total offense with 464 yards per game and averages 34.4 points per game to rank 32nd nationally. With 1,422 yards, Falcons sophomore running back Travis Greene is 2nd in the MAC to Lynch (1,755) in rushing. Greene’s averaged 129.0 yards and 6.4 per carry while scoring five touchdowns in the last 4 contests. The Falcons’ defense ranks fifth in the FBS, giving up 13.8 points per game, and 28th with an average of 134.8 rushing yards allowed.
NIU ranks 4th among FBS teams in rushing offense with an average of 318.9 yards per game on the ground on the strength of signal caller Jordan Lynch(1,755 yards rushing, 3rd in FBS) a Heisman Trophy darkhorse contender. NIU is 3rd nationally in total offense with 542.3 YPG and 42.8 PPG to rank 9th nationally in scoring offense. Lynch has thrown for an average of 223 YPG to rank 71st in the nation in passing offense. The Huskies have dynamic offensive weapons to compliment Lynch as well. Running back Cameron Stinlgy has rushed for over 90 yards a game and wide receiver Tommylee Lewis is 2nd in the conference with 7.4 catches per game.
Bowling Green vs. NIU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Bowling Green Falcons +3
@ Northern Illinois Huskies -3
Over 58 (-110)
Under 58 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Bowling Green vs NIU Pick
NIU is looking to extend their FBS-best win streak over league opponents to 26 games and join Marshall from 1997 to 2000 as the only schools to win three straight MAC title games. The Huskies needed a field goal as time expired to beat Ohio 23-20 in the 2011 title game and went to double-overtime for a 44-37 win over then-No. 18 Kent State last season. NIU has won 3 straight over Bowling Green. Bowling Green has dropped seven in a row against ranked opponents dating to a 27-17 loss at then-No. 25 Pittsburgh in 2008.
Lynch has garnered most of the attention for NIU, as well he should, but the defense has stepped things up in recent play with an average of 19.0 points allowed in the last 6 games and 23 total in the second half of the previous 4 games.That should be enough to give NIU the edge in this game, they have the best player on the field in Lynch, who has run for over 300 yards twice this season from the quarterback position and whom the Falcons have not seen since a limited stint in relief in 2011. Bowling Green will not be able to stop maybe the best player in college football, and that should allow NIU to cover here and bust the BCS for the second straight yeaer. Take NIU to cover in this game and win the MAC for the third consecutive season.