Northern Illinois looks to continue its second-straight run to the BCS when they host a hapless Eastern Michigan team Saturday afternoon. Television coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and ESPN3.
The Huskies have waltzed through their early schedule, but not in the same fashion as last year. The defense has struggled, giving up 26.6 points per game, but the offense thus far has been more than good enough to keep the team undefeated.
Tragedy struck for Eastern Michigan earlier this week, when wide receiver Demarius Reed was killed in a homicide that is still under investigation. The Eagles are 1-6 this season, with an opening win over Howard and three blowout losses in MAC play.
Rankings and records: Northern Illinois is ranked No. 18 in the BCS, No. 23 in the AP and No. 22 in the Coaches' Poll. The Huskies hold a 27-14-2 lead in the all-time series, and have won 11 of the past 12 games in the series.
Vegas: Northern Illinois is a 31-point favorite with an over/under of 66 points. OddsShark has more.
Weather: High 40s and cloudy.
Three names to know
Jimmie Ward. On the defensive side of things, the Huskies are led by their senior safety, who has five interceptions (with one returned for a touchdown), a team-high 55 tackles, and three passes broken up.
Bronson Hill. Eastern Michigan's running back is averaging nearly six yards per carry and is simply a bulldozer out there.
Two things at stake
A loss would knock Northern Illinois out of the BCS picture.
A win could save Ron English's job at Eastern Michigan.
How to witness
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Radio: For Northern Illinois, 1360 AM and 98.9 FM. 670 AM in Chicago For Eastern Michigan, WEMU.
Online streaming: ESPN3.