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Northern Illinois coach's thoughts this week on Hawkeyes and his team

[ 0 ] August 26, 2013 |

Iowa’s coaching staff will be well-versed in Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch and his skill set when Saturday’s season opener at Kinnick Stadium kicks off.

The Huskies coaching staff won’t have the same luxury, since Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock will be playing in his first college game.


Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Florida State Seminoles is congratulated by head coach Rod Carey of the Northern Illinois Huskies after FLorida State won 31-10 during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“They’ve got a new guy in there who, just hearing about it some, they’re really excited about,” first-year Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said today. “So it presents a challenge, because you don’t know exactly what he does or doesn’t do, but you know he’s going to be a good football player coming out of Iowa in that system.”

Lynch, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, made his first career start against the Hawkeyes last season, an 18-17 loss at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. The Huskies then ran off 12 straight wins until the streak ended against Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
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Lynch rushed for 119 yards against the Hawkeyes, including a 73-yard touchdown scamper, but passed for a season-low 54 and completed just six of 16 attempts. Then he took off, breaking four NCAA, two Mid-American Conference and 14 school records along the way. He finished the season passing for 3,138 yards and rushing for 1,815.

“Jordan, and he would tell you this too, is not a finished product,” Carey said. “He’s 21 years old and just growing into himself. He’s got a lot of things (to improve), from throwing the ball to running the ball to reads to running the offense. Everything. He did a good job of that this fall camp, just getting better in all those boring little things you guys in the media don’t like to hear. Those little details that coaches love…”

Lynch lost two of his of leading targets, wide receivers Perez Ashford and Martel Moore. Carey said their void will be filled by committee.

“We’ll put them to the test,” Carey said. “The first test upcoming is Iowa. I think they’ll be ready to go as a group.”

The Huskies recorded six sacks against the Hawkeyes a year ago. But graduation claimed seven starters on defense, including defensive ends Alan Baxter and Sean Progar and nose guard Nabal Jefferson. Carey said a lot of players got action in the defensive line last season, and the committee approach will be used there as well.

“We had guys who were in roles last year now have to step up and be starters, and guys that maybe didn’t play as much have to step up and be role players,” Carey said. “There’s a lot of good pieces to the puzzle and they’ve shown a lot of good improvement.”


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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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