Know the Foe: Northern Illinois
A look at Northern Illinois, which faces USF on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium
Record: 0-1 (lost 40-34 in triple-overtime Saturday/Sunday at Wyoming)
2015 record: 8-6 (6-2 in Mid-American Conference)
Coach: Rod Carey (fourth season, 31-13)
The breakdown: The Huskies committed 12 penalties, missed two field goals and went 5-for-18 on third down in their debacle at Wyoming, delayed almost two hours by bad weather. Typically a balanced, multi-formation offense, NIU amassed 329 passing yards (and 133 rushing) against the Cowboys. Bulls FS Devin Abraham said the Huskies' assortment of looks reminds him of Memphis. "Just all the window dressing that Memphis does, all the window dressing that (the Huskies) do, it's pretty much we've seen it before," he said. NIU's most potent offensive weapon is 6-foot-4 redshirt senior WR Kenny Golladay, who led the Huskies with 82 rushing yards -- on six jet sweeps -- at Wyoming. A member of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, Golladay had 73 catches for 1,129 yards and 10 TDs last season. TB Joel Bouagnon is coming off a 1,000-yard season, but had only 10 carries for 16 yards at Wyoming. Another redshirt senior, QB Drew Hare, was efficient Saturday (24-for-39, 329 yards, three TDs, O INTs). Hare injured his Achilles' tendon midway through the 2015 season but ran for 900 yards the year before. Defensively, NIU returns six starters from last season, but surrendered 488 yards to a Wyoming team that finished 2-10 a year ago. CB Shawun Lurry led the nation with nine interceptions in 2015.
Odds and ends: With six MAC title game appearances (and six bowl games) since 2010, NIU has played in 85 games, most of any team in the nation during that span. ... Former Boca Ciega standout Damarius Brinson Jr., a redshirt junior cornerback, is the only bay area player on NIU's roster. ... Eleven Huskies remain from the team that lost to FSU, 31-10, in the 2013 Orange Bowl.
Willie Taggart's take: "I think without a lot of distractions that they had on Saturday (i.e. lengthy weather delay), the game would've been different than it was...and I think they'll be a lot better than what they were this past week, and we've got to come with our A-game. They've always been a team that's been able to run the football but last week they they threw it a lot more, and I think their quarterback (Hare) is really smart with the ball."