(AP) -- Led by Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois can set the single-season school record for victories - though it would come one game later than they would have liked.
Having just missed out on a second consecutive BCS bowl bid, the No. 24 Huskies expect a serious challenge against Utah State and its stout defense in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday night in San Diego.
After finishing 12-2 and losing 31-10 to Florida State in the Orange Bowl last season, Northern Illinois (12-1) was again in position to bust the BCS before losing 47-27 to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference title game Dec. 6. Averaging 42.8 points and 542.3 total yards heading into that contest, the Huskies were held to 454 yards and matched their lowest point total of the year while allowing a season high.