Created:Sunday, October 14, 2012 2:56 a.m.CDT
Updated:Monday, October 15, 2012 12:16 a.m.CDT
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NIU NOTES: Sixth win means bowl eligibility for fifth straight season

By STEVE NITZ - snitz@shawmedia.com

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DeKALB – With Saturday's 45-3 win over Buffalo at Huskie Stadium, Northern Illinois became bowl-eligible by garnering its sixth victory of the season.

It's the fifth consecutive year the Huskies have been eligible for a bowl game.

With the victory, the Huskies also got their 19th consecutive win at Huskie Stadium, and won their 11th consecutive contest in the Mid-American Conference, the current longest streak in the league.

NIU's senior class (2009-12) also tied the mark for most wins by any class in school history with 35 victories.

"We talked a lot about what a win today would mean. First thing is these guys are now tied for the winningest class in NIU football history. It means that we keep our streak alive at home, which we take a lot of pride in. It means that we've won 11 straight games in the MAC, which means a lot to us," NIU head coach Dave Doeren said. "It means that we're bowl-eligible. It doesn't mean that we're in a bowl yet, but we're eligible for a bowl, all of us want to go to one.

"So there's a lot of things riding on this game. The fact that we got to do it at home, in front of our homecoming crowd, very special."

Moore joins elite club: NIU senior receiver Martel Moore caught eight passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in the victory. With the performance, Moore eclipsed 2,000 yards for his career, becoming the fifth receiver in school history to reach the mark. His eight catches tied a career-high.

"Martel played like a senior today," Doeren said. "The window's closing, we're going to miss the dude. ... I just love when the seniors play their best. I think that's a testament to your coaching and to the development of your program."

Tailbacks struggle carrying the ball, excel in blocking: NIU's running back group didn't do a whole lot with the ball in their hands Saturday. Starting running back Leighton Settle had just 10 yards on six carries. Akeem Daniels finished with 15 yards on three touches while Keith Harris Jr. got a lot of time in the second half, gaining 12 yards on seven carries.

However, Doeren complimented the group's blocking ability, which is needed when quarterback Jordan Lynch carries the ball.

"People want our tailbacks to run better, but I'm telling you, we've got the best blocking tailbacks in the country," Doeren said. "Those guys are getting it on out there right now."

Hayes sees time: Huskies sophomore cornerback Marckie Hayes, who played in high school at Sycamore, got some playing time in the second half. Hayes finished the game with four tackles.

Will the NIU football team play for the MAC title this year?
Yes
No
Too soon to tell