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Initial NIU Thoughts: Choose Your Own Adventure

logo200Well, that certainly sucked, now didn’t it? I don’t know what it is about Dekalb that makes 4th quarters so terrible. Two times now I’ve watched a BSU team that had momentum, swagger, and talent come up empty after two brutal fourth quarters, this one to the tune of 21-0 to make the final tally of 48-27 look like a complete blowout. That wasn’t the case if you watched it, thanks to a garbage TD and then a garbage pick six, but final scores don’t get asterisks. As the points piled up and it became obvious this would be a loss for the boys in Cardinal and White, I knew this would be a difficult post game to write. So we’re going to let you choose whichever narrative you’d like to subscribe to.

Narrative 1: Jordan Lynch is so special that it really didn’t matter what BSU did.

It was evident from the jump that BSU was a bit overmatched when NIU had the ball. Jordan Lynch was just too damn good, too damn talented, and too damn special to not lead his team to victory in another home win. There were missed tackles, but that’s to be expected. Lynch is the leading active player in college football when it comes to rushing yards and he didn’t get there by going down after arm tackling. Wenning went for over 300, Quake went for over 150, and the Cards just couldn’t keep up defensively for one of those once in a generation type players. The good news? BSU is still alive for the MAC Championship though they will need help from NIU’s two remaining opponents to punch their ticket to Detroit, which given the performance of the Huskies tonight, that seems like an extreme longshot. The Cards are back in action the Friday after Thanksgiving, at home against Miami, and they will most likely finish the regular season 10-2. They’ll go bowling and in the grand scheme, all is right with the world. They were beaten on a cold night by a better team with a standout player.

Narrative 2: BSU was the recipient of an old-fashioned screwjob in Dekalb

Call me a cynic, but one thing I’m not is stupid. You have a team that for the entirety of their season they average 60 yards a game in penalties. Tonight? NIU had zero. Wow. What an amazing amount of discipline the Huskies formulated in Week 12. How fortuitous. Of course, let’s not forget that arguably the two most critical plays of the game, Jordan Lynch’s 3rd and 10 scramble that was ruled a first down despite his landing out of bounds a yard short, or the Zane Fakes “incompletion” that stalled a 4th quarter drive thanks in large part to the NIU defender that was literally wrapped around him. Clearly, it’s asking a lot for referees and officiating crews that are paid to work the game to make the correct calls. Especially given the fact that if BSU had beaten NIU the MAC cash register would miss out on about 12 million dollars of BCS money. I’m not saying that’s why, I’m just saying it’s something to think about. Once again BSU goes to Dekalb, plays better, plays harder, wins the game, and it’s stolen from them by a crew of second-rate flunkies in striped shirts.

No matter which of the above narratives you choose to subscribe to, this loss is exceptionally painful. From Horactio Banks tearing his ACL earlier this week that leaked out tonight to Quintin Cooper breaking his leg in-game, there just seemed to be a feeling of dread surrounding the Cardinals all night. The onside kick that wasn’t successful, the helicopter field goal from NIU, the myriad missed tackles and jukes, and it just didn’t seem to be BSU’s night. For a team that’s had more than their fair share of things go their way in the last three years, I can’t complain too much about this one. It sucks, it stings, I’d have loved to go to Detroit, but preseason NIU was always the pick. They were higher ranked, more flash, and had a Heisman hopeful in their backfield. This team will still likely hit 10 wins and will still be bowling somewhere nice around the holidays. And let’s be honest, it’s Detroit. No one really wants to go there.

Final Word tomorrow. Man, this one hurts.


8 Responses

  1. I’ll take option #2, please and thank you.

  2. If we were to take a poll I have a feeling that would be the popular option.

  3. Just awful….AWFUL officiating! Sure we missed two SURE FIRE drive killer sacks against NIU but still. Just so frustrated.

  4. Oh come on… The reason Ball State lost last night was because Northern’s defense figured out how to stop Ball State’s offense. The Cardinals scored a total of 3 points in the second half. The game was tied going into the 4th quarter. Crying about a screw job by the refs seems like sour grapes to me.

  5. I didn’t say that’s what I thought. Just that it was an option.

  6. The Huskies were saved by a “roughing the passer” call on a pick six in 2011 too. The MAC ❤ Huskies!

  7. Kent had zero penalties in the MACC last year and everybody from NIU cried about it even though they won the game. Shit happens the better team one. There is a reason they are ranked 15th in the nation.
    On the bright side. Kent State won this weekend so I am happy :).

  8. A bit of both narratives. BSU did get screwed on that no-PI call, and the spectacular scramble by Lynch was probably short of a 1st down. They very may have gone for it and gotten it on 4th and 1 like they also did within the game, but yeah, BSU has a legit reason to be TICKED.

    In a close game, it’s those things that do matter, I agree. However, teams are going to get BS calls or no-calls, for or against them. The MAC refs weren’t against Ohio when they called safety when Tettleton, their QB, was throwing it away at the 4 yard line. They just suck. 🙂

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