Ball State beat Central Michigan 44-24 last Wednesday while the Huskies have had 10 days to prepare since a 63-19 blowout win over Massachusetts on Nov. 2.
The Cardinals lead the overall series 20-18-2 and hope to break a four-game series losing streak.
“It’s neat for our program to be in this position,” Lembo said. “Before the 2011 season, we hoped to build a program that would be able to compete. . I’m proud of how our kids have bought in and how hard they’ve worked.”
Here are a few things to know about Wednesday’s game:
BEST START: A 10th victory would be the Huskies’ best start since joining the major college ranks in 1969 and match the school’s all-time 10-0 mark set by its 1963 NCAA College Division champions.
STILL PERFECT: The Huskies are among six teams around the nation still unbeaten. In addition to its long home winning streak, Northern Illinois also has the nation’s longest active road run (14) and longest current conference winning streak (22).
TOPS IN FBS: Ball State is the only FBS team to have a quarterback with at least 25 touchdown passes, a receiver with at least 12 touchdown receptions and a running back with at least 12 rushing touchdowns (Jahwan Edwards).
TROPHY GAME: Wednesday’s winner will also claim the Bronze Stalk, a traveling trophy being awarded for the sixth year. The teams first played for the trophy in 2008 and Northern Illinois has won four of five meetings.
PATRIOTS’ GAME: Northern Illinois players will wear special patriotic jerseys as part of Wednesday’s Heroes Game, which will salute active duty military, veterans and police, firefighters and first responders. Uniforms will be auctioned off postgame with proceeds benefiting Active Heroes, an organization which offers programs to combat post-traumatic stress disorders.