Tough start to the season for Northern Illinois who dropped to 0-2 following a blowout loss at South Florida. To make matters worse,
left the game following what was called a "gruesome" ankle injury. It's likely backup Ryan Graham will start Saturday's home game vs. San Diego State. Graham filled in for an injured Hare last season (55-of-102, 54%). NIU hasn't been a home underdog since 2007 (+9.5 vs. Ball State). They are currently catching +10.5 against the Aztecs.
The betting markets have really keyed in on playing against the Huskies. In Week 1, they opened -10.5 at Wyoming and closed -7 only to lose outright 40-34 in triple OT. Then in a horrible scheduling spot, NIU turned right around and went from elevation to the heat of Florida and got blasted by South Florida, 48-17. Once again, there was a ton of anti-NIU money as USF opened -11 and closed -14.5.
“It’s not anything new,” Graham said after the game about taking over for Hare. “I have a lot more confidence in myself [compared with last year]. I know that I have the ability, so it’s just go out there and do it. There’s no questioning being the first time, so as a backup you always have to be ready. It sucks to watch him go down, but I was ready.”