The Northern Illinois Huskies (3-3, 1-1) will travel to face the Miami (OH) RedHawks (1-5, 0-2) in a Mid-American Conference matchup Saturday afternoon. Northern Illinois has rung up six straight wins in the series, including a 51-41 win on October 18, 2014 in the most recent meeting. Miami (OH) covered the line in that contest as they were an 18.5 point underdog.
Northern Illinois snapped a three game losing skid as they scored more points in their 59-41 win over Ball State than they had in their slide. Miami (OH) was knocked off 34-3 on the road by in-state rival Ohio last week. This game is slated for a 2:30 pm ET kickoff from Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio and can be seen on ESPN3. Northern Illinois is currently favored by 15.5 points with the over/under set at 56.5 points in this contest.
Northern Illinois finally got their offense going after a dismal stretch of games as they knocked off a conference rival. The Huskies outgained the Cardinals 636-503 in the game while both teams turned the ball over once. Northern Illinois rallied from a 10-0 deficit in the opening seconds of the second quarter by exploding for 28 second quarter points. They added 21 more points in the fourth quarter to put the game away as Drew Hare was almost perfect: he was 29 of 32 for 363 yards and two scores in the game.
The Huskies stand 66th (229.7 yards) in the nation in passing offense and 53rd (184.2 yards per game) in rushing this season; Northern Illinois averages 33 points per game and is tied for 75th in scoring defense by allowing 27.2 per contest. Hare has now completed 116 of 180 pass attempts for 1,347 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions while he’s been held to 175 yards and a score on the ground. The run game averages four yards per carry and has hit the end zone 16 times on the year; Joel Bouganon is the feature back in the ground game with 130 carries for 591 yards plus 10 touchdowns. Jordan Huff is the second back with 23 carries for 175 yards and three scores. In the passing game, Hare’s favorite target is Kenny Golladay, who has grabbed 34 passes for 529 yards plus three scores; Tommylee Lewis contributes 17 receptions for 132 yards while Aregeros Turner chips in 14 grabs for 156 yards on the year. Christian Hagan has booted 23 of 25 extra points and seven of nine field goals with a long of 48 yards.
Miami (OH) was blasted by Ohio last week as they were kept out of the end zone in the game. The RedHawks were outgained 428-253 in the game and turned the ball over four times. One of those turnovers was run back for a score on a pick six; the RedHawks had two other scoring drives against them that started on their side of the 50. Miami (OH) allowed 25 first downs in the game while the RedHawks finished with only 12 first downs in the contest.
The RedHawks are tied for 79th (213 yards) in the nation in passing offense and 111th (120.5 yards) in rushing offense on the year. Miami (OH) averages 18 points per game and stand 106th in scoring defense as they allow 35.3 points per game this year. Drew Kummer was the starter at quarterback; he has hit 56 of 117 passes for 849 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions on the year. He was replaced last week by Billy Bahl, who is 24 of 64 for 351 yards with one touchdown against nine picks this season. Gus Ragland leads the team with 32 carries for 194 yards while Alonzo Smith chips in 50 carries for 185 yards and the three rushing scores the team has. Kenny Young (29 carries, 141 yards) and Leonard Ross (32 carries, 103 yards) have seen work too; as a team, Miami (OH) averages 3.5 yards per carry on the year. Sam Martin is the team’s leading receiver with 16 catches for 279 yards with a touchdown while Rokeem Williams contributes 14 grabs for 233 yards and a touchdown. Jared Murphy (239 yards) and Chris Hudson (211 yards, TD) each have 13 receptions on the year. Two kickers for Miami (OH) have combined to hit nine of 11 extra points and three of four field goals this season.
Northern Illinois is 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine on the road against teams with a losing home record, 5-1 ATS in their last six after a straight up win, 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games and 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 on the road.
The Huskies bounced back from their three game slide with a victory last week where they put up plenty of points. Their defense was subpar last week but they’re facing a weak Miami (OH) offense this week, which should work in their favor. Look for Hare to have another big game and lead the Huskies to a victory to go to 4-3 on the year.