Like his Northern Illinois team, quarterback Jordan Lynch has flown under the radar in 2013.
But on Wednesday night, he proved on national television that he deserves to be talked about in the Heisman Trophy race.
The 6'0" senior completed 26 of his 32 passes, throwing for 345 yards in a 48-27 win over Ball State. As the dual-threat weapon that he is, Lynch also added 20 carries for 123 yards.
He totaled four touchdowns for his 15th-ranked Huskies—two on the ground, two through the air.
But what stood out most from Lynch's play was his ability to step up his game when his team needed it the most. Tied with under six minutes left, Lynch connected on a 36-yard touchdown to Da'Ron Brown.
A few minutes later, Lynch took matters into his own hands, scampering for a 16-yard touchdown to put his Huskies up two scores with a little more than a minute left.
Sporting more than a couple of blowout wins on the season, Lynch hadn't been asked to take over like he did on Wednesday night. Especially with the nation watching in a game that could've sealed his team's BCS fate.
When the situation called, Lynch answered and proved that, unlike many of his fellow Heisman contenders, he can step up his game in the clutch moments.
After the game, Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey claimed that Lynch deserves to be in the conversation, according to the Associated Press via ESPN.
"If Jordan isn't in the conversation for the Heisman I don't know what people are watching, they were asleep," Carey said. "In my estimation that trophy goes to the best player in the nation and with the performance he had tonight, he dang sure should be in that conversation."
Lynch's formidable performance through the air also proves to be admirable. For the first time all season, he surpassed 300 yards passing.
In doing so, he didn't forget about his legs, running 100 yards on the ground for the fifth time this season. Put together, he amassed a Raw QBR of 91.3—his third best of the season (all have come in the last three games).
Northern Illinois doesn't play the same competition as Jameis Winston and Florida State, Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M or hardly any other Heisman contender for that matter.
But Lynch has torn apart his competition at an alarming pace, and it cannot be ignored after an impressive win on Wednesday night.
It doesn't look like it will be enough to catch Winston or the top contenders, but at the very least, Lynch should be in the conversation.
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