Western Michigan (6-4, 5-1) at Northern Illinois (7-3, 5-1)
When: Wednesday, November 18th 2015
Where: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN2
The Western Michigan Broncos are coming off their first conference loss last week at the hands of Bowling Green, but still control their own destiny starting tonight at Northern Illinois. It won’t be easy, but if the Broncos beat the Huskies and win at Toledo next week, they will face Bowling Green again in the MAC Championship Game. Western Michigan cruised through the first five conference games before losing 41-27 last week to the Falcons. They could not slow down the Bowling Green offense to stay unbeaten. The Broncos allowed 505 yards of total offense including 236 on the ground. They’ll be facing another great rushing attack tonight in DeKalb, Illinois. Quarterback Zach Terrell failed to throw a touchdown last week and was intercepted for the first time since week 4. Western Michigan compiled 487 yards of offense, but it wasn’t enough.
Northern Illinois suffered three-straight losses earlier this season including their first conference game at Central Michigan, but have since put it together with five straight wins. They have scored at least 32 points in each of those victories and have the 21st ranked rushing attack in the nation. Running back Joel Bouanon leads that rushing attack with 1,106 yards and his 17 rushing touchdowns puts him second only to Alabama’s Derrick Henry. He had a season-high 156 yards in last week’s 41-30 victory at Buffalo. It was the first start for freshman quarterback Ryan Graham who has replaced Drew Hare under center. Hare is gone for the season with a torn achillies. The Huskies led that game 28-3 at halftime and held on to keep their hopes of winning their 6th straight MAC West title alive. They already have a win over Toledo, so a victory tonight and next week against Ohio would clinch the West and a date with Bowling Green in Detroit.
Hare is a big loss for the Huskies, but the running game is going to be too much for Western Michigan to handle tonight. I think the Huskies roll.
Pick: Northern Illinois -3