Only Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch knows if he will use last Saturday’s lackluster performance in a 27-20 win over Akron as motivation for his next game.
Everyone else might find out Saturday when he steps onto the field at Kelly/Shorts Stadium to play Central Michigan.
NIU head coach Rod Carey said there were stronger words than “irritated” to describe how Lynch felt about his performance last week, when he completed 45.7 percent of his passes and led an offense that was one of 15 on third down.
“I think more upset, angry would be the correct words that you would use when you would describe how he felt about his performance,” Carey said. “I didn’t say anything to him. I don’t think he really wanted to talk to anybody.”
Carey said he hopes Lynch does not use his last game as motivation. Rather, he just wants him to prepare and execute.
The much acclaimed quarterback should have little trouble returning to form.
He is not putting up numbers video gamers would struggle to put up like he did last year. But he is on pace for over 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing yards with 1,333 and 616, respectively.
“The numbers he had last year, that was the first time anyone ever did that in college football,” Carey said. “So to think that someone could repeat that might lead you to think that he is not having as good a year, but I would argue the contrary.”
Carey said he has seen improvements in the quarterback in quite a few areas, including his leadership, passing and playmaking ability.
Lynch only needed 25 pass attempts to tally 207 yards on 18 completions against Purdue in a 55-24 win by the Huskies.
Another Big Ten team, Iowa, can also attest to how difficult it is to contain him, since he completed three touchdowns passes as well as 275 passing yards and 56 yards rushing to aid in a 30-27 NIU win over the Hawkeyes.
It will be the second time head coach Dan Enos and the rest of the coaching staff have had to game plan for Lynch.
“He’s a great player,” Enos said. “He’s tough. He obviously runs very well. I don’t think he gets enough credit for what a good passer he is.”
CMU’s defense forced him into completing only 43.8 percent of his passes last year in a 55-24 loss. But he still burned them on the ground for 144 yards.
“You’re not going to ever totally take him out of the game,” Enos said. “What you want to do is minimize what he does the best you can.”