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Huskies crush UMass, remain unbeaten

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 7:57 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 8:35 p.m. CDT
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Northern Illinois running back Cameron Stingily (42) scores a touchdown as fullback Rob Sterling (47) and offensive guard Jared Volk (77) block on the play against Massachusetts defensive back Devin Brown (10) and defensive lineman Stanley Andre (35) during the first half of an NCAA football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.

FOXBORO, Mass. – Northern Illinois' first-half scoring summary went like this.

Six-yard touchdown run by Jordan Lynch. Twenty-five-yard touchdown run, Lynch. Nineteen-yard touchdown run, Lynch. Six-yard touchdown scamper by Cameron Stingily, 66-yard pass from Lynch to Juwan Brescacin and 15-yard Tommylee Lewis touchdown run on a reverse.

NIU scored at will in the first half of its 63-19 win at UMass, taking a 42-13 lead into halftime and not looking back. The Huskies, 17th in the BCS standings, improved to 9-0 and 5-0 in Mid-American Conference play with the victory, their 22nd straight conference win. NIU's starters were out of the game in the third quarter.

Lynch finished the day with 119 rushing yards, averaging 7 yards a carry. He had five total touchdowns on the afternoon, despite playing just one series in the second half.

NIU's offensive line has been one of its main strengths all season, and all day Saturday, Lynch had plenty of time to throw. UMass (1-8, 1-4 MAC) had just one sack, and it was because of coverage in the secondary. Lynch and the tailbacks had plenty of space to run through all afternoon. On Lynch's 19-yard TD run, he literally went untouched into the end zone, running through a big hole straight up the middle.

"We were able to go into the sideline and make adjustments right away after the first series. We can see things so easily," guard Jared Volk said. "Knowing that someone's back there like Jordan and Cam, and all those guys, we know they're going to make plays if we can just get them a little crease."

The Huskies lost starting left tackle Tyler Loos with a broken left leg and a dislocated ankle in the second half. Loos broke his right leg last year and missed the final three games of the season. He also missed the 2011 season with a torn ACL.

Loos was scheduled to stay in New England to have surgery. A member of NIU's sports medicine staff is staying with him, and he's expected to be back in DeKalb early next week.

NIU has some time off before taking on Ball State on Wednesday, Nov. 13. It will be a huge game when it comes to the MAC West title race, as well as the Huskies' chances at a BCS bowl game.

UMass head coach Charley Molnar said NIU is a team that deserves to be in the BCS race.

"Let's play the rest of the games, but [Lynch] should certainly be in the conversation (for the Heisman)," Molnar said, "and that football team should be in the conversation."

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