Army Football Game Notes: The Northern Illinois Game

Nate Combs has 4.0 quarterback sacks in his last two games.

Nate Combs has 4.0 quarterback sacks in his last two games.

Army vs. NIU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

ARMY VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Date: Sept. 15, 2012
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: West Point, N.Y.
Venue: Michie Stadium
Capacity: 38,000
TV: CBS Sports Network
Series: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Sept. 3, 2011 (NIU 49, Army 26)

TELEVISION    
CBS Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Ben Holden
Color Analyst: Randy Cross
Cadet Sideline Reporter: Brad Strimel

ARMY RADIO    
Army Sports Network
Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.);    WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.); WPLJ-HD3 (95.5-3 (HD)-FM, New York, N.Y.); WKXP* (94.3-FM,  Kingston, N.Y.);  WKDM^ (1430-AM, New York, N.Y.); WAZZ (1490-AM, Fayetteville, N.C. -- Fort Bragg); WZZN (97.7-FM,  Huntsville, Ala. -- Redstone Arsenal); KXCA (1380-AM, Lawton, Okla. -- Fort Sill).

*will carry partial schedule, including Army-Navy game
^Spanish broadcasts

Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Hosts: Joe Beckerle, John Minko

► The 90-minute "Army Football Tailgate Show," begins at 10 a.m. ET

SATELLITE RADIO    
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Channel 134

INTERNET STREAMING    
goARMYsports.com
► The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the "Army Football Tailgate Show," will be streamed live (audio) via Knight Vision on www.goARMYsports.com each week. Subscription fees apply.

► The "This Week in Army Football," show will be streamed live from the West Point First Class Club on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. The event is available only to Knight Vision subscribers.

COACHING MATCH UP
ARMY HEAD COACH Rich Ellerson
  Alma Mater: Hawai'i, 1977
  4th Season at Army (15-23, .395)
  13th Season Overall (75-64, .544)
  Record vs. Northern Illinois: 0-1

NORTHERN ILLINOIS COACH DAVE DOEREN
  Alma Mater: Drake, 1993
  2nd Season at NIU (12-4, .750)
  2nd Season Overall (12-4, .750)
  Record vs. Army: 1-0

SATURDAY'S HEADLINES
► Army makes its home debut on Saturday against the Northern Illinois Huskies. The Black Knights have won three straight at Michie Stadium. Army will play seven home games in 2012, the most since the 1994 season.
► The Black Knights are coming off a 42-7 loss at San Diego State in its season opener. Army rushed for 282 yards, but could not overcome three turnovers.
► Army had two players rush for 100 yards against the Azetcs. Junior RB Raymond Maples led the team with 107 yards on 19 carries, while sophomore RB Terry Baggett reached the century mark for the first time in his young career with 100 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries (7.7/rush).
► Maples 100-yard effort was the sixth of his career, moving him into a tie for 10th place on Army's career list. It is the most by an Army player since Carlton Jones finished his career in 2005 with 11 100-yard games.
► A total of 15 Army players made their collegiate debut against the Aztecs. The Black Knights utilized seven first-time starters, four on offense and three on defense.
► Army was on the short end of a 3-0 turnover margin, perhaps the most telling statistic for the Black Knights. Army is just 9-44 since the start of 2006 with a negative turnover margin. The Black Knights are 2-13 in their last 15 games when not forcing a turnover.
► The Black Knights are 1-9, including eight straight losses, when committing at least three turnovers. Conversely, Army is 5-2 in that span when not turning the ball over.
► Senior QB Trent Steelman moved into fourth place on Army's all-time total offense list with 4,181 yards. Steelman passed 1946 Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis' total of 4,131 yards (2,959 rush/1,172 pass). Steelman is the only player in Army history to rush for 2,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in his career. He needs just 119 yards to pass Mike Mayweather (4,299) for third place all time.
► Senior LB Nate Combs tied his career high with 2.0 quarterback sacks against San Diego State. It was the second straight game that Combs posted multiple sacks after ending the 2011 season with two takedowns against Navy.
► Northern Illinois is the first of four Mid-American Conference teams on this year's schedule. Three of those contests will be played at Michie Stadium. Army played four MAC teams a year ago, all on the road. The last MAC opponent to visit the banks of the Hudson was Temple on Oct. 2, 2010. NIU is making their first trip to West Point since 1992.

A WIN VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS WOULD ...
► Give Army a 2-1 series lead against the Huskies.
► Snap Army's five-game overall losing streak dating back to last season.
► Be Army's fourth straight win at Michie Stadium and its sixth win in its last nine home games.
► End Army's four-game losing streak against the Mid-American Conference.
► Avoid Army's second straight 0-2 start.
► Snap Army's four-game losing streak in home openers.
► Even Army's September record at 7-7 since 2009.
► Be Head Coach Rich Ellerson's 16th win at West Point (15-23).

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
► Head coach Dave Doeren is in his second season at Northern Illinois. Doeren led the Huskies to 11 wins, the Mid-American Conference championship and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in his first season. Doeren came to DeKalb after five seasons as defensive coordinator in Wisconsin. A 17-year collegiate coaching veteran, Doeren was a part of eight bowl teams as an assistant, including all five years with the Badgers. He also helped USC to the 1998 Sun Bowl as a graduate assistant, Kansas to the 2003 Tangerine Bowl and 2005 Fort Worth Bowl as linebackers coach and as co-defensive coordinator, respectively.
► The Huskies were picked second in the West Division in the preseason Mid-American Conference poll.
► The Huskies are 1-1 this season after defeating UT-Martin, 35-7, in their home opener last week. NIU used a balanced attack, rushing for 213 yards and passing for 214 yards. Leighton Settle led the team with 106 yards on 321 carries, while QB Jordan Lynch added 60 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Lynch completed 19-of-25 passes for 214 yards and a score. He completed throws to nine different receivers. Martel Moore led the team with five receptions for 56 yards and a score. The Huskies' defense limited the SkyHawks to 63 yards on 23 rushing attempts. Jimmie Ward led the stop unit with 10 tackles, an interception and two pass breakups.
► Northern Illinois' lone loss came in the season opener against Iowa at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Hawkeyes needed a late score to secure the 18-17 victory.
► Through two games, NIU is averaging 26.0 points and 314.0 yards of total offense. Lynch is the team's top rusher and passer with 89.5 yards on the ground and 134.0 yards through the air. He has four of the team's six rushing touchdowns. Lynch has completed 61.0 percent of his throws (25-41) with one touchdown and one interception.  Moore is the team's top receiver with eight catches for 95 yards and the Huskies'  lone receiving touchdown.
► Defensively, Northern Illinois is allowing just 12.5 points and 307.0  yards per game. Ward is the team's top tackler with 22 stops in two games. He also has the team's only interception and has broken up four passes. Alan Baxter paces the Huskies with 3.0 tackles for loss, and is tied with Joe Windsor for the team lead with 2.0 quarterback sacks.
► On special teams, Ryan Neir is averaging 39.2 yards per punt and has placed four of his nine kicks inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Mathew Sims is 1-for-2 on field goal tries, hitting a 28-yarder against Iowa, while Tyler Wedel has three touchbacks on 10 kickoffs. Ashford Perez has handled most of the punt return duties iwth four returns for 11 yards. Tommylee Lewis leads the Huskies with three kickoff returns and is averaging 20.7 yards per attempt.

THE ARMY-NORTHERN ILLINOIS SERIES
► The 2012 season marks the second straight season Army and Northern Illinois have met on the gridiron. The all-time series is tied at 1-1.
► Army made their first trip to DeKalb last season, suffering a 49-26 loss in the season opener.
► The Black Knights win in the series was a 21-14 victory at Michie Stadium on Nov. 14, 1992.

NO (TURNOVER) MARGIN FOR ERROR
► Army was on the wrong end of a 3-0 turnover number in its loss to San Diego State.
► Turnover margin has been one of the best predictors of Army's sucess in recent seasons.
► Since the start of 2006, the Black Knights have posted a 15-5 record when winning the turnover battle. On the flip side, Army is 9-44 when the margin is negative or even.
► In its last 10 losses, Army is -13 in turnovers (-1.3). In their last three wins, the Black Knights are +1 (+0.33).
► Army has lost only three games under Rich Ellerson when on the plus side of the turnover battle and just twice when holding at least a two-takeaway advantage. The Black Knights are 11-3 when winning the turnover margin under Ellerson.
► In Army's last 15 wins the Black Knights are averaging 2.9 takeaways and hold a +1.9 turnover margin average (44-16 overall). Conversely, in its last 23 losses, Army is averaging just 1.2 takeaways per game and is on the wrong end of a -0.83 turnover margin average (27-46 overall).
► Army is 2-13 in its last 15 games without forcing an opponent turnover.

UP NEXT ...
► The Black Knights make their second road trip in three weeks when they face Wake Forest at BB&T Field.
► Army will already have half its road schedule completed after the match up with the Demon Deacons, starting a stretch of five home games in six weeks.
► Wake Forest leads the all-time series, 7-4, including a 21-10 home win in the last meeting (Sept. 15, 2007).



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