1. Running back We saw what Cameron Stingily can do last week, running for 266 yards. However, Keith Harris Jr. may not be available. Giorgio Bowers left the team prior to the Purdue game, which means junior James Spencer is the backup at tailback. He had six carries for 42 yards against Kent State. Don't be surprised if the Huskies use true freshman tailback Jordan Huff.
2. Turnovers The Huskies have forced 15 turnovers so far. Can they keep this up? Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl is in his first year as a starter and has thrown seven picks. NIU should be able to force him to make at least one or two mistakes.
3. Home crowd It's homecoming, and there's expected to be a packed house. NIU has won 22 straight games at Huskie Stadium, and a 23rd straight victory would be a MAC record. How will the Huskies feed off the home fans?
4. Style points NIU is in the Top 25, and let's be honest, beating teams by wide margin helps impress voters. Should the Huskies and fellow unbeaten Fresno State keep winning, we're going to hear a lot of talk about one of them going to the BCS.
In a game like this, NIU could easily put up a crooked number. A win over a lowly Zips team isn't very impressive. A 30- or 40-point victory? Maybe it sways a few voters in the Coaches Poll.
5. Jawon Chisholm NIU is giving up 164.8 rushing yards per game this year. Expect Akron to give a good number of touches to senior Jawon Chisholm. Kent State ran for 147 yards against NIU last week.
– Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org