NIU to start Graham at QB in Poinsettia

Northern Illinois to start Ryan Graham vs. Boise State in Poinsettia Bowl

Northern Illinois should get a boost by starting Ryan Graham under center in today's Poinsettia Bowl versus Boise State at 4:30PM ET.

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The Huskies were forced to start third-stringer Tommy Fielder in the MAC Championship Game against Bowling Green a few weeks ago. The end result wasn't pretty, as NIU scored just 14 points in a 34-14 defeat as a 14-point underdog. But Fielder will serve as Graham's backup today when the Huskies take on the Broncos.

In seven games (three starts), the redshirt freshman Graham completed 59.3% of his passes for 653 yards with six touchdowns to three interceptions. When starter Drew Hare suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Week 9, Graham came into the game and helped the Huskies upset then-No. 20 Toledo.

Graham suffered a sprained MCL in his knee in the regular-season finale loss to Ohio and subsequently missed the MAC title game against Bowling Green.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Huskies are currently a 9.5-point underdog versus the Broncos today in San Diego. Boise State opened as an 8.5-point favorite but the line was bet up a full point despite the announcement that Graham would likely start for NIU.

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