Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch thrust himself into the Heisman Trophy picture with a brilliant rushing performance on Tuesday night. But it might have gone unnoticed if not for some brilliant scheduling by his school and some lucky timing.
Lynch broke his own record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 321 yards against Western Michigan. He also now has 1,755 yards rushing and with two games left with a good shot at reaching 2,000 rushing yards, a mark that has been reached by only 16 running backs.
In addition, Northern Illinois is now 12-0 and Lynch is on pace to lead the Huskies to their second straight BCS bowl game.
But Lynch’s performance may not have been noticed if his school didn’t agree to have this game played on a Tuesday night. By moving games to mid-week, the Mid-American Conference gets their games and their players on national television. And on a Tuesday night with no other major sporting events, Lynch got maximum exposure.
Lynch’s Heisman performance also came just days after the résumé’s for the top two Heisman contenders took a hit. Johnny Manziel had a poor performance on the national stage in a loss to LSU and Jameis Winston may have to face felony sexual assault charges which could lead to his suspension from the Florida State football team.
But that isn’t the only reason Lynch is a legitimate Heisman candidate:
- Lynch is not a run-only quarterback. He also has 2,457 yards passing, with 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Only four quarterbacks in FBS (Division I) this season have more touchdowns and fewer interceptions.
- His 43 touchdowns combined (passing and rushing) are the most in FBS this season and three more than Manziel and eight more than Winston.
- His 321 yards rushing against Western Michigan and 316 yards rushing against Central Michigan are two of the top three rushing performances in FBS this season.
- He is second in the BCS in rushing, trailing only Andre Williams of Boston College (2,073 yards).
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