DEKALB, Illinois (Ticker) -- No. 22 Northern Illinois can wrap up the MAC West Division title and move one step closer to its first bowl berth since 1983 with a victory over Toledo on Saturday.
The Huskies (7-2, 6-0 MAC West) lead Toledo by one game in the standings and are riding a six-game winning streak, including last week's 38-31 overtime victory over Ball State.
Sophomore running back Garrett Wolfe ran for 280 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Wolfe leads the MAC and is eighth in the country in rushing, averaging 138.56 yards per game. His 1,297 rush yards and 15 TDs also lead the conference.
The Huskies are looking to snap a 10-game losing streak to Toledo but they will have to do it without Wolfe who will miss the game due to an eye injury unrelated to football, according to a school spokesman.
Both of the Huskies' losses have been on the road to BCS conference schools. They have not lost since a 48-41 setback to Iowa on September 18 and will be bolstered by the return of senior quarterback Josh Haldi, who has missed the last two games due to injury.
Toledo (6-3, 5-1 West) had a six-game winning streak snapped last week in a 23-16 loss at Miami (Ohio). The Rockets had 380 yards of offense but were undone by four turnovers, including one that led to Miami's game-winning TD early in the fourth quarter.
Despite last week's setback, Toledo can regain control of the division with a win over the Huskies. To do so the Rockets will need a big game from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, the nation's sixth-rated passer. Gradkowski has thrown 20 TD passes this season and rushed for seven scores.
Toledo owns the series with Northern Illinois, holding a 25-6 advantage, including 10 straight wins. Last season, the Rockets faced a No. 21 ranked Huskies squad and jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead on their way to a 49-30 victory.