DETROIT – All season, opposing coaches and defensive coordinators have talked about how it’s impossible to stop Jordan Lynch.
Defenses were just hoping to contain him. Through 12 games, teams couldn’t even do that.
In Friday’s 47-27 win at the Mid-American Conference Championship, Bowling Green didn’t necessarily solve Lynch. The senior quarterback still ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 219 yards and a score. But for once, he actually looked human. He wasn’t the same Superman Huskies fans had watched all year.
His average of 4.8 yards a carry was nothing compared to the 7.1 yards he averaged heading into Ford Field.
He never broke off that highlight-reel run – his longest scamper was 23 yards.
“They had a good game plan coming into the game,” Lynch said. “They were fast. They were physical.”
Before NIU took the field Friday, it looked like that with a victory, Lynch was a lock to head to next week’s Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City. A lot of polls had him finishing second behind Florida State’s Jameis Winston, who now looks like he may have a ceremony dedicated all to himself in Manhattan.
After Bowling Green’s stunning upset, Lynch could be on the outside looking in when it comes to getting an invite.
The Falcons’ defense has been tough on opposing teams all year. They came into the contest allowing just 13.8 points a game. It’s also an experienced unit.
Three years ago, the Falcons went 2-10. Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson said people were calling that defense, which featured a number of players who went up against the Huskies on Friday, the “Swiss Cheese 11.”
In Friday’s upset, Bowling Green finally held the Huskies’ juggernaut in check. NIU’s 27 points tied a season-low, but seven of those points were thanks to a Lynch 2-yard touchdown run with 14 seconds remaining.
“We limited the plays over our head,” Clawson said. “We made them drive. We’re a tough defense to drive it a long ways against.”
Lynch had not thrown an interception since the Huskies’ Oct. 19 win against Central Michigan. Against the Falcons, he had two. One was off of a tipped ball in the first half while the other came in the second half when Lynch had Tommylee Lewis down the right sideline but underthrew him. The ball was picked off by Aaron Foster.
“Two turnovers, you know, it’s unacceptable,” Lynch said. “I expect a lot out of myself. I didn’t live up to my expectations.”