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Northern Illinois steamrolls Massachusetts 63-0

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch runs for touchdown Saturday against UMass. | Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch runs for a touchdown Saturday against UMass. | Northern Illinois

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Updated: December 5, 2012 6:47AM



DEKALB, Ill. — Northern Illinois looked like a team primed for another division title Saturday.

Massachusetts looked like it didn’t belong on the same field, and the Huskies scored at will in a 63-0 victory. It was NIU’s first shutout since 2008 against Eastern Michigan.

The Huskies will wrap up their third consecutive Mid-American Conference West title with a victory against Toledo on Nov. 14.

NIU (9-1, 6-0 MAC) had 610 yards of total offense. The game was effectively over by halftime, and backup quarterback Matt McIntosh got some significant playing time in the second half.

The Huskies have done a good job of not looking past inferior opponents in the last few weeks, blowing out subpar MAC East teams Buffalo and Akron. It was more of the same against the Minutemen (0-9, 0-5).

‘‘I wanted to make it clear that we weren’t going to look past UMass,’’ NIU coach Dave Doeren said. ‘‘Their staff, their players played hard, coached hard on film. They came out and tried to fake a punt. They had some gadget plays that our guys did a nice job of staying home on . . . and I’m really proud of that.’’

Though McIntosh played a good part of the second half, that didn’t prevent Huskies starting quarterback Jordan Lynch from getting his numbers. Lynch ran for 157 yards and a touchdown and threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns before being removed.

It was Lynch’s eighth consecutive 100-yard rushing game, adding to his NCAA record for quarterbacks. It was also his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season, tying an NIU record.

UMass coach Charley Molnar was impressed after watching Lynch do his thing.

‘‘He’s just so hard to tackle,’’ Molnar said. ‘‘Everything you do defensively, you have to defend him every single play. You take your eyes off him, and they’re really good with their deception. You don’t know if he’s got the ball or not. If he’s got the ball and you didn’t maintain eye discipline, you’re going to lose him. Then he’s going to take off and kill you, which he did multiple times today.’’

Defensively, the Huskies were missing three starters in the secondary: safeties Jimmie Ward and Dechane Durante and cornerback Rashaan Melvin. But their defensive unit had no problem overcoming those losses, forcing four turnovers and coming up with four sacks.

‘‘It’s always good to be out there with them boys,’’ NIU middle linebacker Tyrone Clark, who had six tackles and a forced fumble, said of his defensive line.



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