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2021 Cure Bowl Preview

2021 Cure Bowl Preview

The 2021 Cure Bowl features the 9-4 Northern Illinois Huskies against the 10-2 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Here is the 2021 Cure Bowl Preview.

Northern Illinois Huskies (9-4)

Northern Illinois had quite the turnaround this season, getting to nine wins and a MAC Championship after winning no games in 2020. They were able to secure victories over five bowl-eligible teams this season. All four losses on the year have come to bowl-eligible teams.

The Huskies score 31.5 points per game, which ranks 43rd in the country. They have the fifth-best rushing attack in the country at 234.2 yards per game and also pass for 187.8 yards per game, which ranks 105th.

Michigan State-transfer Rocky Lombardi has quarterbacked Northern Illinois this season. He has passed for 2,416 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 58.1 percent completion. Three receivers have over 400 receiving yards on the season. Trayvon Rudolph leads the team in all major categories with 49 receptions for 877 yards and seven touchdowns. Tyrice Richie has 540 receiving yards and Cole Tucker has 488 helping round out the major pass-catching contributors.

Five players have more than 400 rushing yards for the Huskies. Their leading rusher is Jay Ducker, who has 1,038 yards and three touchdowns. Harrison Waylee is second on the team with 574 rushing yards. Versatile player Clint Ratkovich, running back Antario Brown and Lombardi each have over 400 yards. Ratkovich leads the teams in rushing touchdowns with 12.

They allow 32.7 points per game, which ranks 107th in the country. The Huskies give up 215.6 rushing yards (ranked 120th) and 232.1 passing yards (ranked 72nd). Safety C.J. Brown leads the team with 103 tackles. Defensive tackle Devonte O’Malley paces the team with four sacks.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (10-2)

Coastal Carolina had their second-straight double-digit win season, as they notched 10 wins. They did not beat one bowl-eligible team all season long. Both of their losses did come to teams who qualified for bowl games.

The Chanticleers sport the fourth-best offense in the country at 40.4 points per game. They rush for 231.2 yards (ranked sixth) and pass for 261.8 yards (ranked 37th).

Starting quarterback Grayson McCall missed some time with an upper-body injury, but was able to return for the last two games of the season. He has 2,558 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and three interceptions on 73 percent completion. Four receivers have over 200 receiving yards on the season. Leading wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh has 59 receptions for 1,034 yards and seven touchdowns. Tight end Isaiah Likely has been a matchup nightmare with 52 catches for 816 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kameron Brown has 567 yards and running back Braydon Bennett has helped with 248 receiving yards.

Shermari Jones has led the team in rushing with 988 yards and 13 touchdowns. Behind him, Bennett chips in with 528 yards and five touchdowns. Reese White has 5515 yards and seven touchdowns. McCall is asked to run a decent amount and has produced 250 yards and four touchdowns.

The defense also has had a solid season and allows just 20 points per game, which ranks 19th in the country. They concede 133.8 yards on the ground (ranked 39th) and 191.1 passing yards per game (ranked 15th). Linebacker Silas Kelly leads the team with 95 tackles. Defensive tackle Josaiah Stewart has made an impact with his 12.5 sacks.


Coastal Carolina may not have a win over a bowl-eligible team, but they do have an efficient offense. They will be able to score and Northern Illinois will not be able to pass enough to keep up, especially when they are going up against a solid Chanticleers defense.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 45 Northern Illinois Huskies 30


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