Come-from-behind wins have been a theme for Northern Illinois the past two weeks. The most recent late comeback was Saturday's 30-23 victory over Kansas, when the Huskies scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
NIU head coach Dave Doeren credits some of the late-game success to the team's conditioning.
"I think our strength coach, Brad Ohrt, does a great job with our players," Doeren said during Tuesday's news conference at the Yordon Center. "And the way they were able to focus, the way our coaches made corrections, the way our players made plays when we needed them to."
Senior tight end Jason Schepler credited the team's practices. One thing the Huskies do at the end of each practice session is work in a two-minute drill.
"I think the way we practice enables us to play hard the whole game and enables us to finish games," Schepler said. "That's what we stress in practice all the time is focusing on different situations. And we go over those situations over and over again, and I think when we get to the game we're just able to execute it."
Other news and notes from Tuesday's news conference:
• Something that's still eluding the Huskie defense is getting turnovers. NIU has yet to force a turnover against a Football Bowl Subdivision team. The Huskies weren't helped out Saturday when Tyrone Clark and Demetrius Stone dropped interceptions.
"I think we're putting our guys in the right positions and we're creating some fumbles that the other team's recovering," Doeren said. "We've just got to keep working it and stay the course and that will help us as well."
• Doeren said one big difference in Central Michgan's defense this season has been how much the Chippewas have been blitzing out of their new 4-2-5 defense. However, he did mention Central Michigan has played against two stationary quarterbacks, a stark contrast to Jordan Lynch.
"They're bringing a ton of more pressure. I think they may have blitzed three or four times against us the whole game last year," Doeren said. "So we'll have to be ready. The good thing is we've played some teams that have brought some pressure, so our offense has seen a lot already."
• Central Michigan isn't going to beat itself with penalties. The Chippewas are averaging just 1.33 penalties per game, good for the top spot in FBS.
"They've had four penalties on the season and their opponents have had 25," Doeren said. "So, I'm not sure how that's happened but it's a pretty remarkable statistic."
— Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter