DeKALB – Jordan Lynch is well-known for his exploits as a thrower, runner and even a punter.
On Saturday against Eastern Michigan, the NIU senior quarterback added receiver to his resume.
Lynch threw for four touchdowns, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown before being pulled midway through the third quarter as the No. 18 Huskies (8-0, 4-0 Mid-American Conference) remained undefeated with a 59-20 win over Eastern Michigan (1-7, 0-4). Lynch is the first FBS player to do all three since Ohio's Boo Jackson in 2010.
"It's not about the points, it's not about what it looked like. It's about how you did at those little things to create that, and that's what I was interested in seeing," NIU head coach Rod Carey said. "And I saw it, and we challenged ourselves for 60 minutes. Minus a little bit there at the end when they ran that ball downhill on us a little bit, I was really happy with the 60 minutes of football that we played today."
The win extended the Huskies' MAC winning streak to 21 games and their Huskie Stadium winning streak to 24 games.
Running back Cameron Stingily was dealing with a turf toe injury and didn't dress Saturday, but it didn't matter as Lynch and the offense were clicking from the first possession.
NIU drove 82 yards in 13 plays and Lynch found Da'Ron Brown on a 5-yard fade pattern to put NIU up 7-0. On its next possession, Tommylee Lewis took a jet sweep 54 yards down the right sideline and then Lynch hit true freshman Joel Bouagnon, who was playing in his first game, on a play-action pass from 10 yards out for the score. Lynch capped off the Huskies' third scoring drive in as many possessions with a 30-yard touchdown run.
"They did a good job of going quick," EMU coach Ron English said. "They showed some formations they had not shown and so I thought it unnerved our guys a little bit."
Lynch and Lewis switched roles on the Huskies' next touchdown as Lynch handed off to Lewis and then snuck out of the backfield as Lewis threw back across the field to Lynch, who dived into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown. It was Lynch's first career catch.
"It's fun, having somebody else throwing you the ball, acting like you're a receiver," Lynch said.
Lynch found Juwan Brescacin on a post route for a 16-yard touchdown and Mathew Sims ended the half with a 28-yard field goal to put NIU up, 38-3. Lynch added his sixth touchdown of the game early in third quarter on a 28-yard strike to Brown over the middle of the field and ended the day with 339 yards of total offense, including 99 on the ground.
Backup quarterbacks Matt McIntosh and Drew Hare each threw for touchdown passes in the second half.
The Huskies go on the road to face Massachusetts next Saturday.