Football: March 2011 Archives

NIU SPRING FOOTBALL: DAY FIVE UPDATE

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FB11 - Doeren at Spring Practice.jpgNorthern Illinois completed its fifth workout of 2011 spring drills Thursday morning at Huskie Stadium which included several scrimmage periods as NIU worked in full pads for the third straight day.  The Northern Illinois offense had one of its best days of spring to date, especially early in the session, as players continue to become comfortable with the terminology installed by the new coaching staff.
   
"The terminology is coming around, it's a work in progress," said Huskies' head coach Dave Doeren. "I loved the energy the offense came out with at the start of practice.  They had a real good start to today.  They were driving the ball, using the hard count and making plays. The offense came out and played with an attitude."

The offense's day was highlighted by several good runs by running backs Jas Hopkins and Jamal Womble, while former quarterback DeMarcus Grady continues to show progress at wide receiver.
 
In the later 11-on-11 scrimmage periods, Doeren was equally as excited about two momentum-changing plays by sophomore cornerback Sean Evans, who picked off passes on consecutive plays and returned both for touchdowns.

"I am real excited about Sean Evans making two interceptions [for touchdowns] at the end of practice," Doeren said. "For the defense, those touchdowns were big-time. For the offense it's something that can't happen. Sean's INTs changed the momentum of practice in two plays for the defense."

Huskie kickers Ryan Fillingim and Matt Sims also had a good day kicking with each hitting all of their tries during special teams work.

Practice Notes:  Thursday was one of the "warmest" (relatively-speaking) days of 2011 spring drills to date thanks in large part to the lack of wind on the field... visitors to practice included NIU alum Patrick Stephen, a four-year player at defensive back for the Huskies from 1995-98, who was there to watch his younger brother, Courtney, a safety for the current team... the older Stephen was a three-time Academic All-American at NIU and currently resides in the Chicago suburbs... Stephen was a senior at Northern Illinois when current offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Matt Canada arrived for his first stint on the NIU coaching staff... the veteran Huskie radio crew of Bill Baker (31st year) and Mark Lindo (26th year) were also in attendance Thursday as they came out to meet and chat with Northern Illinois' new assistant coaches... one new player easy to spot on the Huskie sidelines is 7-foot, 376-pound offensive lineman Kyle Getzelman, who walked on to the team in February... Getzelman, who has been a student at NIU but has not played football in several years, is a Hampshire, Ill. product who attended Burlington Central High School and is a redshirt junior.
 

PETERS TO SERVE ON BCS TASK FORCE

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Peters-John-2008-002.jpgThe Fiesta Bowl is under scrutiny by the Bowl Championship Series amid the firing of John Junker, the president and CEO of the Arizona bowl game.
 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Fiesta Bowl will be asked to justify its inclusion in the BCS after organizers for the Arizona game fired president and CEO John Junker for "an apparent scheme" to reimburse employees for political contributions and "an apparent conspiracy" to cover it up.

The Fiesta Bowl released a scathing internal report Tuesday.

The reimbursements, listed as at least $46,539, are an apparent violation of state campaign finance laws and the charter that allows the Fiesta Bowl its nonprofit status. The Arizona attorney general's office is conducting a probe of the matter.

The BCS reacted swiftly, saying it would undertake an investigation of its own to "consider whether the Fiesta Bowl should remain a BCS bowl game or other appropriate sanctions."

Northern Illinois University President Dr. John Peters, who serves on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, is a part of a seven-member BCS task force to decide if the Fiesta Bowl will remain a BCS bowl game.

LOOKING TO MAKE HIS MARK

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Northern Illinois University running back Jamal Womble is turning heads early in camp. The 5-11, 255 junior transfer from Hutchinson Community College has wowed his teammates, coaches and on-lookers with his quick feet and strength. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle filed this story on the new NIU running back looking to add his name to the long list of great Huskie running backs.

SPRING BALL UPDATE

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Coach Dave Doeren 7.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team began its second week of spring practice Tuesday morning at Huskie Stadium. The Huskies were put through their paces by first-year head coach Dave Doeren and his coaching staff under clear skies and crisp temperatures. Tuesday also marked the second day in full pads as the Huskies worked on everything from individual work to the two-minute drill and closing out practice with special teams play.

While there is a new coaching staff to adjust to and new terminology to learn, one thing that has carried over from the previous coaching staff has been competition. With a whole new staff, comes a whole new group of coaches to impress. Doeren has been pleased with the energy and enthusiasm the team has played with so far through his first spring ball. The challenge for the Huskies now is to maintain that energy and continue to pick up the new concepts in the remaining 11 practices culminating in the Spring Game April 23.

DIFFERENT STYLES, SAME INTENSITY

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The Huskies wrapped up their first full week of spring drills Saturday. They donned the pads for the first time and continued learning the new offensive and defensive schemes from the new coaching staff. As one would expect, there is a difference in styles from current NIU head coach Dave Doeren and his predecessor, Jerry Kill. However, the spirit of competition is still in place making practices just as intense as they have in the past.

Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle caught up with quarterback Chandler Harnish to get his thoughts on how spring practice is progressing for the offense. Wood also filed this story on the Huskies' veteran offensive line over the weekend.

SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE REPORT

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There were a plethora of stories in the Daily Chronicle covering NIU's first day of spring football practice. Ryan Wood recapped the day and John Sahly also offered his take on Dave Doeren's first practice as NIU head football coach. Wood also filed this story on DeMarcus Grady's move to wide receiver this spring in his notes column.

The Rockford Register Star's Jay Taft was also out at practice and posted his story on Doeren's first practice in today's paper as well.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR FEATURED

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Northern Illinois University defensive coordinator Jay Niemann is the latest Huskie football coach to be featured in the Daily Chronicle's on-going series about the coaches that make up Dave Doeren's staff. Niemann was Doeren's defensive coordinator when the new Huskie head man was a player for the Bulldogs and later coached the linebacker as an assistant for Niemann.

MATUKEWICZ SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT

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Matukewicz-Tom-2010-001.jpgNIU linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz will be the featured speaker at the Chamber Lunch Network hosted by the Sycamore and DeKalb Chambers of Commerce March 22, 2011 at Sycamore High School Auditorium.

Tickets for "Overcoming All Odds: An unforgettable Chamber Lunch Network with Coach Tom 'Tuke' Matukewicz" are $15 and includes lunch and presentation immediately following. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. Monday, March 21. For more information, contact dbreunlin@sycamorechamber.com or call 815-895-3456.

Coincidentally, coach Matukewicz is today's featured coach on the Daily Chronicle's Huskie Wire.

"CHRONICLE"-ING THE HUSKIE FOOTBALL COACHES

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The Daily Chronicle is doing a series featuring members of the new NIU Football coaching staff. Tuesday, tight ends and full backs coach Kevin Kane was featured and Wednesday, cornerbacks coach Richard McNutt was profiled. Rod Carey, the Huskies offensive line coach, is today's featured assistant.

HUSKIE COACHING STAFF PROFILES

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The Daily Chronicle is doing a series on the Northern Illinois University football coaching staff leading up to the start of spring practice March 22. The Chronicle began its series with wide receivers coach Bob Cole and continued Monday with Ryan Nielsen, NIU's defensive line coach, is the second assistant featured.

MAC SCHEDULE/SPRING PREVIEWS

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Team.jpgCollegeFootballNews.com posted a series of stories on the schedules of all the Mid-American Conference schools, including a composite schedule with a list of top 10 MAC games and a top-10 list of non-conference match ups. Two Northern Illinois' contests were picked, one in each list. The website also did a breakdown of each team's schedules and potential records.

CFN.com also did a series of Spring Previews on each MAC team as well. They ask the big questions facing each team heading into spring and talk about expectations for 2011. CollegeFootballNews.com also highlights the positions to watch for each team in the conference as well.

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