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Huskies show poise, confidence late

[ 0 ] August 31, 2013 |

IOWA CITY — No panic, just confidence. That was the mood in the Northern Illinois huddle at Kinnick Stadium as Saturday’s game with Iowa moved into the fourth quarter.

“I think we stayed cool, calm and collected,” Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch said.

The Huskies trailed Iowa 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter.

Lynch was facing the same Hawkeye program that beat them to start the 2012 season at Soldier Field in Chicago.

“We never panicked,” Lynch said after a 30-27 victory. “First game, on the road, and we get a victory over a Big Ten team, a BCS team. It puts our program on the map.”

In truth, the Huskies were already there. They won 12 straight games after the Iowa loss last season to reach the Orange Bowl. And Lynch, who passed for 3,138 yards and ran for 1,815 more, finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

“This is a new season, a new team,” Lynch said. “It wasn’t a revenge game or anything like that. We knew it was going to be tough playing at Kinnick, with 70,000 cheering against you and down seven in the fourth. It’s not easy.”

Lynch completed 25 of 41 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns against a Hawkeye secondary that left receivers wide-open with alarming regularity all afternoon. Lynch was limited to 56 yards in 22 carries.

“I thought they did a pretty good job or filling holes,” Lynch said. “They gave me a tough time. The zone option read, I thought they played it pretty well. Their team speed was pretty good.”

A year ago, Lynch was making his first start. He made his 14th start Saturday against Iowa’s Jake Rudock, making his first career start at quarterback. Experience beat the rookie for the second straight time in this series — one that Iowa now leads 8-1.
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“The obvious difference, it was his first ballgame last year,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Yeah, they got beat by us. It didn’t stop his season, didn’t stop their team’s season. That’s exactly the same approach that we have to take.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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