These teams have met six times in history, but not since 1996 when Louisiana Tech won 40-14 in DeKalb. The Bulldogs lead the series 5-1 with the only Huskies' win occurring in 1994. Both teams were members of the Big West from 1993-1995.
Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley is in his second season with the Bulldogs and has a record of 12-12.
Northern Illinois’ Jerry Kill is in his first season with the Huskies. Overall, he is 110-63 in 15 seasons as a head coach.
This is the Bulldogs’ fourth trip to the Independence Bowl. The Bulldogs are 1-1-1 in their previous appearances. Their only bowl game outside of the Independence was a 2001 trip to Boise for the Humanitarian Bowl, a 49-24 loss to Clemson.
Louisiana Tech had a four-game winning streak snapped in its regular season finale against Nevada.
The Bulldogs are second in the WAC in rushing offense and rushing defense, and tied for second in the WAC in turnover margin with 0.58 per game. Phillip Livas leads the WAC, and is fifth in the nation, in punt returns with a 16.6-yard average. Livas also leads the WAC in all-purpose yards with 157.4 per game.
Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter rushed for 1,086 yards. QB Ross Jenkins has started the past seven games, and has thrown for 1,011 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions on the season. DB Antonio Baker leads the team in tackles with 9.2 per game to rank second in the WAC.
Northern Illinois Is 2-1 in its previous three bowl games with the loss coming to TCU in the 2006 Poinsettia Bowl in its last appearance.
The Huskies suffered four losses by four points or less as they fell 13-9 to Tennessee; 31-27 to Minnesota, 29-26 to Western Michigan; and 33-30 to Central Michigan in overtime.
Northern Illinois was shut out in its season finale, a 16-0 home loss to Navy.
The Huskies are 5th nationally in pass defense, allowing a paltry 125.1 yards per game.
Offensively, NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish has thrown for 1,342 yards with 7 TD's and 7 INT's. Chad Spann leads the team in rushing touchdowns with eight.