BCS implications in NIU vs Kent St MAC title game

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“We consider ourselves the best team in the state,” said quarterback Jordan Lynch, a potential shot at Illinois and Northwestern, two Big Ten programs.

This is the Huskies’ third straight trip to the MAC title game. They won last year on a last-second field goal.

Kent State is one of only two teams to beat Rutgers so far this season. The Golden Flashes went 5-7 last year, but they won four of their last five, setting the stage for this season’s resurgence.

Kent State’s most recent bowl appearance was 40 years ago in the Tangerine Bowl, so it’s fair to say the fan base is fired up for this week’s game.

“I got an email today with a guy that’s put a blue `K’ on his tooth,” Hazell said earlier this week. “You talk about 106 players in the locker room and 25 coaches, changed the country, how they think about Kent State, Kent State football.”

Running backs Dri Archer and Trayion Durham have both surpassed 1,100 yards rushing this year for the Golden Flashes. Northern Illinois relies heavily on Lynch, who has thrown for 2,750 yards and 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He’s also run for 1,611 yards.

The Northern Illinois athletic department’s website is touting Lynch as a Heisman Trophy candidate. That might be a reach, but the idea of a MAC team playing in a major bowl is suddenly very real.

“We’ve got two great teams that don’t like to lose,” Archer said. “So it’s going to be a good game.”

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