Joe Summins: January 2012 Archives

ALL-STAR WEEKEND RECAP

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Harnish-Shrine.jpgFive Northern Illinois University football players, Chandler Harnish, Scott Wedige, Trevor Olson and linebackers Jordan Delegal and Pat Schiller, played one last college game over the weekend as the quintet participated in three different all-star games this past weekend.  

Harnish was voted team captain and started for the West team in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. Saturday. The 2011 Vern Smith Award winner threw for 52 yards on 8-of-14 passing, while rushing for nine yards on five carries including a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The West team won the contest, 24-17. Harnish received praise from a few NFL scouts in attendance for his arm strength and leadership skills. Many feel he is worth a draft pick.
 
As Harnish's game was winding down, another was getting started. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl featured a trio of Huskies as Wedige and Schiller were members of the American squad, while Olson suited up for the National team. Olson has bragging rights over his two former teammates as the National team won, 20-14.

Delegal, who arguably had the best day of all the Huskies, took part in the Battle of Florida. A member of the victorious North squad coached by Florida State legend Bobby Bowden, Delegal had seven tackles, including a tackle for loss, and a 29-yard interception return. The North won the contest in dominating fashion, 51-3.

HUSKIE ALL STARS

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All-Star Game Picture.jpgFive Huskies have one more college game to play as quarterback Chandler Harnish, center Scott Wedige, tackle Trevor Olson and linebackers Pat Schiller and Jordan Delegal are participating in three college all-star games Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012.

Harnish was named team captain and will start for the West team of the East-West Shrine Game. The game, which will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., will be televised by the NFL Network. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT. Harnish, the 2011 recipient of the Vern Smith Leadership Award, earned Most Valuable Player honors in NIU's 38-20 victory over Arkansas State in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Here's a feature on NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel.

A trio of Huskies, Olson, Schiller and Wedige, will be playing in the AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif. Wedige and Schiller will be teammates for at least one more game as they will be playing for the American team, while Olson will be playing for the National squad. The game will be played at the Home Depot Center in Southern California and will kick off at 5 p.m. CT and will be televised by NBC Sports Network.

Delegal, a native of Miami, Fla., is playing for the North team in the Battle of Florida. The game, which will be kickoff at 7 p.m. CT, will be televised live by Fox College Sports. The game features players that are draft eligible and have either been born in Florida or have played high school or college football in Florida. Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden will coach the North.

All-Star Game Line Up
East-West Shrine, 3 p.m. CT, NFL Network

AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, 5 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus)

The Battle of Florida, 7 p.m. CT., Fox College Sports

WHO'S COUNTING

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Tommylee Lewis return.jpgSeveral media outlets are starting to compile their Top 10 or in some cases Top 100 games/moments of the 2011 season and Northern Illinois makes a few of them. Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com posted her Top 10 non-AQ moments of 2011 and the Huskies' 63-60 victory over Toledo checked in at No. 9. 

The website sbnation.com delved even deeper by compiling a list of the Top 100 games of 2011. Three of the Huskies' contests have a place on the list. NIU's shootout with Kansas comes in at No. 93, while the Huskies' incredible comeback over Ohio in the 2011 MAC Championship. The Toledo game cracked the Top 10, ranking eighth.

FEATURES, FEATURES AND MORE FEATURES

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Dave-Doeren-8.jpgThere were a slew of features on NIU players and coaches posted the last two weeks. Enjoy!

Dave Doeren
ESPNChicago.com, Doeren's first season at NIU a big success

Matt Canada
Rockford Register Star, New boss same as old boss for NIU offense

Jimmie Ward
Daily Chronicle, Home sweet home for Ward

Jordan Delegal
Daily Chronicle, Conversion complete for NIU linebacker

Pat Schiller
Press Register, Northern Illinois' Pat Schiller stepped up big at linebacker

Sean Evans
Northwest Florida Daily News, Former FWB standout Evans enjoys 'homecoming' with NIU

Community service visit in Mobile
Fox TV, Huskies talk to troubled juveniles

Bowl feature
ESPNChicago.com, Huskies hope bowl wait is worth it

RETURN OF THE MAC

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2011 was a great year for football schools of the Mid-American Conference. The league went a nation's best 4-1 in bowl games this season, tying with Conference USA. Northern Illinois' 38-20 victory over Arkansas State clinched the top spot for the MAC and the conference went a perfect 4-0 versus other Non-AQ leagues (2-0 vs Mountain West, 1-0 vs. Western Athletic and 1-0 vs. Sun Belt). Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com gave the league some props in her blog post, while Paul Myerberg ranked the MAC ahead of the WAC and Sun Belt.

UNSUNG UNIT

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Olson-Trevor-1.jpgWhile Chandler Harnish garners much of the praise, and rightfully so, for the success the Huskies have enjoyed on offense this season, one unit toils in anonymity. The Huskie offense line is the backbone of the offensive unit and, at the end of the season, they were getting their due. Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star had this feature story and accompanying blog post on the Huskie front five.

Josh Bean of the Mobile Press-Register also filed a feature story on the O-line as well when he was covering the Huskies during bowl week. Rick Armstrong of the Sun-Times, who was down in Mobile covering the Huskies, wrote this feature on left tackle Trevor Olson.

LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING AHEAD

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Jordan Lynch-Bowl.jpgWith the 2011 season in the books, it's a good time to reflect on an amazing year for the Huskie football team. The Daily Chronicle editorial board posted this editorial on its site today. ESPNChicago.com posted this review of the season and outlook for 2012, while Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle broke down Chandler Harnish's successor, Jordan Lynch, in this piece

TOP 25 TALK

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End of Practice.jpgFollowing NIU's bowl victory there was the hope the Huskies could crack the Top 25 in either the Coaches or Associated Press Poll.  The Chicago Tribune, Daily Chronicle and Beacon News all had stories laying out NIU's case for a spot in the polls. However, the Huskies were left out, finishing 26th in the Coaches Poll and 28th in the AP Poll. The Huskies did crack one poll.

Paul Myerberg of presnapread.com ranked the Huskies 24th, just behind Florida State and ahead of Nebraska in his season ending poll. Myerberg had the Huskies ranked 59th in the nation in his preseason poll behind fellow Mid-American Conference foes Ohio (52) and Toledo (56).

BOWL GAME RECAPS

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Seniors with Bowl Trophy.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team closed out a record-setting season with a 38-20 victory over Arkansas State in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Of course the most complete coverage, including post-game notes, photo gallery and high light video can only be found on NIUHuskies.com. Below are various stories from around the Chicagoland area and nationally.

Chicago Tribune, NIU beats Arkansas State in GoDaddy.com Bowl

Sun-Times, Chandler Harnish, Huskies win GoDaddy.com Bowl

Daily Herald, 'Storybook ending' for Harnish, NIU

Daily Chronicle, Going out a winner

cbssports.com, NIU rips Ark. St. for ninth-straight win

ESPN.com, Instant analysis: NIU 38, ASU 20

If you want to relive the Huskies entire bowl trip from touching down in Mobile, to the celebration at the team hotel following the game, you can find it all at Bowl Central. Complete with blog posts, photo galleries and videos, Bowl Central has you, and the Huskies, covered.

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