Ohio Bobcats (7-4) at Northern Illinois Huskies (8-3)
College Football: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm (Huskie Stadium)
The Line: Northern Illinois Huskies -13.5
On Tuesday night the Ohio Bobcats will travel to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies.
Ohio (7-4) looks for the upset win in this one against Northern Illinois (8-3) as both teams enter this one on win streaks. Coverage of this game airs on ESPNU beginning at 7:30 pm ET from Huskie Stadium.
Last Year’s Game
Ohio tested the visiting Huskies in a game about a year ago (Nov. 18, 2014), in which the Bobcats were tied up with Coach Rod Carey’s squad 14-14 late in the contest. A Drew Hare touchdown pass to Chad Beebe sealed things in the Huskies’ 21-14 win in Athens.
The Ohio Bobcats improved to 7-4 (4-3 MAC East) on the season after they defeated the Ball State Cardinals 48-31 this past Tuesday. Ohio was able to outgain Ball State by a 607-421 margin and didn’t commit any turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Bobcats was QB JD Sprague who completed 15 of 22 passes for 275 yards and 3 TD’s while adding another 46 yards on the ground. On the season, Ohio is averaging 27.5 ppg on 427.8 yards per game (244.6 passing, 183.2 rushing). The Bobcats are led by QB Derrius Vick who has 10 TD’s and 6 INT on the season and is averaging 180.9 yds/game and should be back starting after missing the last game due to injury. Sebastian Smith (65.1 yards/game, 7 TD) and Jordan Reid (50.8 yds/game, 4 TD) lead the way for the Ohio WR’s. Leading the Bobcats rushing attack has been A.J. Ouellette (45.64 yds/game, 5 TD) and Daz’mond Patterson (45.18 yds/game). Defensively, Ohio is allowing their opponents to average 25.2 ppg on 377.7 yards per game (213.1 passing, 164.6 rushing). The Bobcats have protected the ball well as they’ve only committed 12 turnovers on the season and have a turnover margin of plus 6. Ohio has been led defensively by LB Quentin Poling who has 54 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and 3.0 INT.
The Northern Illinois Huskies won their 4th straight game and improved to 8-3 (6-1 MAC West) on the season after defeating the Western Michigan Broncos 27-19 this past Wednesday. Northern Illinois scored 13 unanswered points in the 4th quarter in the victory while forcing the Broncos into committing 2 turnovers. Leading the way for the Huskies was RB Jordan Huff who had a 159 yards and a TD on just 8 carries. On the season, Northern Illinois is averaging 35.8 ppg on 450.8 yards per game (224.8 passing, 226.0 rushing). The Huskies have been led by RB Joel Bouagnon who has rushing TD’s on the season and is averaging 106.91 yds/game. QB Drew Hare is averaging 218.0 yds/game and has 14 TD & 4 INT. Kenny Golladay has been the main receiving threat for Northern Illinois as he is averaging 94.1 yds/game and has 8 TD’s on the season. Defensively, Northern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 24.7 ppg on 390.4 yards per game (239.2 passing, 151.2 rushing). The Huskies have a turnover margin of plus 5 on the season and have been led defensively by DB Shawun Lurry who 8 INT.
The Bobcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win however, just 4-9 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Huskies are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Players to Watch
Quentin Poling- The sophomore Mr. Everything returned from a nagging injury to perform well at Kent State and continued looking good in last week’s win against Ball State. His play against the NIU run game could make the difference between a loss and a win which would make this the best Ohio season in the last few years.
JD Sprague- Sprague has been decent enough in his starting role. With Derrius Vick plagued with injuries once more, the expectation will be for Sprague to lead the rushing attack while complemented by AJ Ouellette and Daz’mond Patterson. The two have started to succeed more frequently behind an offensive line that is getting its stuff together.
Ryan Graham- Graham has been decent in the pocket since the Hare injury. The frosh hasn’t been asked to do too much and has mostly been able to rely on Joel Bouagnon and Jordan Huff for the team’s offensive successes these past few weeks. All Graham has to do is stay away from mistakes and hook up with Kenny Golladay for a couple big plays to put NIU in a winning position against Ohio.
Boomer Mays- Stop the Ohio run game and NIU will probably win. Easier said than done as the Bobcats have hit their stride and are averaging 300+ on the ground over the last three weeks. Mays and the NIU defensive line will likely make the difference on senior night in DeKalb.