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Vandals play Northern Illinois in home opener

Fri., Sept. 13, 2013, 3:03 p.m.


NIU at Idaho

Kickoff: 2 p.m. at Kibbie Dome

Records: NIU 1-0; UI 0-2

Radio: 1080-AM

Overview: The Vandals open their home schedule with the best nonconference team to come to the Kibbie Dome in years. Northern Illinois has received votes in both major polls following a win at Iowa to start the season and reaching a BCS bowl last year.

In his first year as starter in 2012, Jordan Lynch became the first FBS quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards and run for more than 1,500 yards in a single season.

“He does a great job of managing the game and taking the ball and putting the game in his own hands,” UI defensive coordinator Ronnie Lee said.

Lynch and the Huskies’ talented receiving corps, led by Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown, will likely try to try test the Idaho secondary down the field. The Vandals have given up four pass plays of at least 40 yards and more than 700 passing yards in two games.

Another unit that has struggled is Idaho’s offensive line, which has allowed 12 sacks, most in the FBS.

Offensive tackle Cody Elenz, who missed the Wyoming game with a knee injury, was suited up in practice this week. If he plays, he’ll help protect two quarterbacks: Chad Chalich is still UI’s starter at quarterback, but JC transfer Josh McCain will continue to get snaps, coach Paul Petrino said. Chalich has completed 69.5 percent of his passes and has yet to throw an interception.

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