DEKALB, Ill. — Quarterback Jordan Lynch didn’t need to come up with any game-saving heroics and game clinching touchdown drives.
Yet, there was Lynch in the last game of the regular season and his last game at Huskie Stadium lowering his shoulder, stiff-arming would-be tacklers and diving for first downs.
Western Michigan was no serious threat to No. 14 Northern Illinois’ hopeful destiny as a BCS bowl contender, but Lynch played no differently than normal Tuesday night, leading NIU to a 33-14 victory
The problem for the Broncos is what’s standard for Lynch is also what sets him apart.
Lynch is considered a long shot for the Heisman Trophy but the senior certainly put himself in the spotlight with this performance. Bears general manager Phil Emery watched from the press box as Lynch broke his own FBS record for a quarterback with 321 rushing yards, five more than in the mark he set earlier this season at Central Michigan.
He scored three rushing touchdowns on 27 carries, shaking off defenders and spinning out of tackles during a blustery night at Huskie Stadium. He added another score through the air, hitting Jawaun Brescacin for a 10-yard first-quarter touchdown as he went just 5 of 17 for 39 yards passing.
The Mount Carmel product also became just the fifth FBS quarterback to rush for at least 4,000 yards and pass for at least 5,000 in a career, while recording his third career plus-200-yard rushing day, checking that off his list in the first half.
The night was fitting for a player who never has lost at home or in a conference game as a starter.
The Huskies (12-0, 8-0 MAC) already had found themselves in an opportune position this week when the BCS rankings revealed they jumped past Fresno State, a fellow non-automatic qualifier battling for a BCS bowl bid.
The Huskies goals could remain as long as they simply didn’t blow it against Western Michigan (1-11, 1-7). Instead they turned the game into a blowout.
Up next, the Huskies will go for their third straight MAC championship victory.
But on Tuesday night they celebrated what already had been accomplished. The 17 seniors honored before the game, not including their retiring mascot dog, were the most successful in program history.
They extended their home winning streak to 26 games. The Huskies completed their first undefeated regular season in the modern football era.
Lynch wasn’t the only one putting up big numbers. With 49 rushing yards, running back Cameron Stingily passed the 1,000-yard mark.
Along with Lynch, the pair is the first duo at NIU to each reach at least 1,000 rushing yards.