1. Can the Huskies contain Wenning?
The last time NIU played a legitimate quarterback – Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo – the Huskies gave up 450 passing yards. Ball State’s Keith Wenning is fourth in the country with 3,164 passing yards, so the Huskies will certainly have their hands full.
NIU has turned the ball over 12 times this season, while the Cardinals have 16 turnovers. The Huskies have done a great job forcing turnovers as well (they’re eighth in the nation with an average turnover margin of 1.0). This is a game which could come down to one or two big plays.
3. Home-field advantage
NIU has won 24 consecutive games at Huskie Stadium, and has already had two sellouts this season. However, how many fans will show up on a Wednesday night? It will be interesting to see what the attendance is, and if the crowd plays a factor.
4. Does NIU have an answer for Ball State’s weapons?
Willie Snead has been the best receiver in the MAC this season. Wenning also has Jamill Smith and Jordan Williams at his disposal, plus tight end Zane Fakes. Jahwan Edwards has been tough to handle in the run game as well.
That’s a lot for the Huskies to worry about. However, it does look like the Huskies will get top corner Sean Evans back.
5. What can Jordan Lynch do on the big stage?
Lynch has certainly played in big games before, and he’s performed well in them, for the most part. If he’s going to have a shot at getting into the Heisman conversation, Lynch will need to have a huge game tonight.
– Steve Nitz, email@example.com