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Sept. 8, 2009

Huskie Happenings


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 5:04 pm on Friday, September 4, 2009

Some good NIU football coverage in and around the Chicagoland region on Friday.  The Aurora Beacon News has two stories in today's edition, including this preview by Rick Armstrong, who writes that the Huskies hope Saturday's game produces a better result than the Huskies' last trip to Madison.  Also, along the AP wire, it was announced that Wisconsin will start fourth-year junior Scott Tolzien at quarterback in the game.  Finally, check out the Rockford Register Star's feature advance.       


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:02 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

If you aren't making the trip to Madison Saturday, we've got you covered.  Courtesy of the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund (HASF), two watch parties are being organized, with both being free and open to the public.  Locally, fans can catch the contest at Fatty's Pub and Grille, and for alumni near the Windy City, a party will also be held at Goose Island at 3535 N. Clark St. in Chicago.  Just a reminder, the game will be televised on the Big 10 Network, and can be heard live on the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network.  Affiliates include 670 "The Score" (will join in progress following the White Sox game), flagship 1360 WLBK in DeKalb and WTMJ-ESPN 1380 in Beloit, Wisconsin.  GO HUSKIES!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:45 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

As announced late Thursday evening, NIU head coach Jerry Kill has signed a two-year contract extension, and is now contracted with the Huskies through the 2015 season.  Congrats to coach Kill, Associate V.P./Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, University President John G. Peters and the entire NIU Administration for getting this deal done!  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:41 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

Thanks to John Sahly of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle for his extended preview of Saturday's game at Wisconsin.  The feature focuses on the newcomers, who will surely have an impact on the field this season.  Head coach Jerry Kill has talked more than once about how this team is one of the youngest he has ever coached.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:26 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

The events continue, albeit away from DeKalb and the NIU campus.  The Huskie volleyball team will play its first match of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Bash today at 2 p.m., when NIU faces off against perennial Missouri Valley Conference power Northern Iowa.  The NIU men's soccer team will continue its annual challenging non-conference slate by taking on No. 2 North Carolina in Chapel Hill beginning at 6:30 p.m.  You can follow that tilt live with Gametracker right here.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:20 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

It's not breaking news that Mid-American Conference quarterbacks have fared well in the National Football League in the past.  Guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Chad Pennington, Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich come to mind.  But this compilation by Dave Goricki of the Detroit News breaks down how two particular QBs in the MAC-West could be the next phase of NFL signal callers hailing from the league.  It's pretty cool to think that NIU will get to see Chandler Harnish behind center for three more seasons.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:16 am on Friday, September 4, 2009

The Huskies held host Wisconsin scoreless for the first 29 minutes and Lindsey Curnock recorded 14 saves, but the Northern Illinois women's soccer team came up short against the Badgers in Madison on Thursday night, 1-0.  NIU will continue its beginning-of-season road swing at Illinois State Sunday.  


By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:55 pm on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star has a great story on NIU defensive end Jake Coffman. Coffman came to NIU after serving his country in the Marine Corps. He spent 15 months over two tours in Iraq, and his expereince over there motivates him everyday.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:20 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

As a prelude to Saturday's big bopper at Camp Randall, the Northern Illinois women's soccer team will travel to Madison, Wis., the alma mater of NIU head coach Carrie Barker, for a non-conference tilt under the lights beginning at 7:30 p.m. TONIGHT!  You can follow the action live here on Gametracker.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:10 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thanks to Seamus Brennan of the Northern Star for this preview of Saturday's football opener at Wisconsin.  It's no secret to anyone that Camp Randall is a tough place to play, particularly at night.  As NIU head coach Jerry Kill echoes, the running game is going to be key.   


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:03 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

Its official.  The Motor City Bowl, usually reserved for the Mid-American Conference champion and a participant from the Big Ten Conference, has been re-named.  From here forward, it will be known as the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.  Check out this blog by Adam Rittenberg of, he gives a breakdown of the re-naming like no one else can. 


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:48 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

While Fred Mitchell's story is more about Lou Holtz's prediction that Notre Dame will win the BCS Championship (what a shocker there), there is a quick notable about David Bryant, who was nominated for the 2009 Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team.  Bryant, who will be featured in the Huskie Illustrated game program for the home opener against Western Illinois, recently co-hosted a local bowling event for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  We look forward to having Fred Mitchell in the press box this season, as he will be covering the Huskies for the Trib.  


By Joe Summins | Posted at 11:20 am on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If you can't get enough of NIU Athletics, the next four days are for you. It starts tonight, when "NIU Live" airs on WSCR 670 AM "The Score" at 10 p.m. NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher and head football coach Jerry Kill join host Andy Garcia to discuss all things NIU. Kill will break down the upcoming Wisconsin game, while Compher will give fans an update of Huskie Athletics. The program will also air at 5:30 p.m. on 1360 AM WLBK.

The first "Inside Huskie Sports" of the 2009-10 season airs on Comcast SportsNet Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning on MyNetwork TV in Rockford. Host Brad Hoey is joined by Kill and senior offensive lineman Jason Onyebuagu and senior linebacker Cory Hanson. The three talk about how the team has prepared Saturday night's game with the Badgers and the upcoming season.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 11:04 am on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NIU head football coach Jerry Kill was one of four Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners featured in a video posted on the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year website today. Kill, the 2007 Division I-AA Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, donations from the award went directly to the Coach Kill Cancer Fund, which assists cancer patients and their families with medical costs and other expenses. The piece features coach Kill and Bobbi West, a woman battling Stage 4 breast cancer, who has benefitted from the Coach Kill Cancer Fund.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:15 am on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The men's soccer team came up short at the NIU Soccer and Track and Field Complex Tuesday night, but the volleyball team took care of business, coasting to a three-set sweep over the Braves in Peoria, to improve to 4-1 on the season.  All four of those wins have come against in-state foes, which should bode well for Ray Gooden and his staff on the continuing recruiting trail.  Next up for volleyball: a challenging trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to take on powers Northern Iowa, Middle Tennessee State and Georgia Tech.    


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:04 am on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's crunch time folks.  The Huskies had a very workman-like practice session Tuesday afternoon/evening, and continued preparation for Saturday's opener at Wisconsin.  Prior to practice, head coach Jerry Kill addressed the media, and John Sahly of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle put together this piece about the Badgers' big, physical squad.  You can also view NIU's weekly release and game notes right here.    


By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:48 pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Chandler Harnish Day on the Internet. The Wisconsin Badgers Examiner has a profile on the Huskie QB on its site as they preview Saturday's game between NIU and Wisconsin. The story displays Harnish as an example of what a dual threat quarterback can provide for an offense.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 1:59 pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kyle Schwan, a former player under legendary head coach Don Meyer at Northern State, has joined the NIU men's basketball staff as the program's video coordinator.  In three years at NSU (2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09), Schwan helped the Wolves advance to the NCAA Division II National Tournament each season, including Sweet 16 berths in both 2006 and 2008.  Schwan is the third former NSU player to join NIU head coach Ricardo Patton's coaching staff.  Assistant coach Sundance Wicks also played and coached under Meyer.    


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:36 am on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's game day! The NIU volleyball team will be looking to improve to 4-1 on the season when the Huskies travel to Peoria, Ill., to take on Bradley this evening beginning at 7 p.m.  The Huskie men's soccer team opens its home slate at 5 p.m., when the Braves visit the NIU Soccer and Track and Field Complex.  Bradley advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament just two years ago.  See you all out there and Go Huskies!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:23 am on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy September everyone!  For those of you who haven't paid rent yet, make sure to do it.  Now, onto college football.  Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel caught up with NIU head football coach Jerry Kill on Monday to reminisce about his coaching career, how last year's players gave the staff "everything they had," and a quick preview of Saturday's opener at Wisconsin.  Potrykus also chatted with NIU defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys.   


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:21 am on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Need a crash course on NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish? His hometown paper, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., has an excellent feature story on the Huskies' sophmore signal caller, written by NIU grad Stacy Clardie.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 3:03 pm on Monday, August 31, 2009

Northern Illinois assistant men's basketball coach Will Smith was a standout player in his days playing under head coach Ricardo Patton at Colorado, scoring nearly 800 career points while playing in a school-record 123 games. But Will found out over the weekend that his mother, Jackie, may have a more immediate future in the NBA.  Jackie tried out for and made the "Grizzlies Grannies" team, a dance group that entertains Memphis Grizzlies fans like no other group can.  As many will remember, Will Smith is a native of Memphis, and much of his family still resides in the River City.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 1:37 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

My countdown of the top-seven reason I'm excited about 2009 Huskie Football (long story on why seven) resumes today with Number Five: Pride.

Very few things bring out Huskie Pride like Huskie Football. I'm jacked to see students in donning the Cardinal and Black, with painted faces and chests, smacking together Thundersticks like some magic football god is paying a dollar a slap. There's an absolute truth to the fact that NIU fans in the stands help NIU teams win on the field. So show up early, stay late, and be loud and proud from beginning to end. Need an example? How about the Huskie men's hoops team at volleyball this weekend:

Pure passion.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 11:45 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

It's Northern Illinois University's turn in the MAC's 13 Teams in 13 Days Preview series. The preview provides an in-depth look at the 2009 Huskies and includes video interviews of Jery Kill, Chandler Harnish and David Bryant.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:56 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

A pair of former Huskies faced off against each other in week three of the NFL preseason when Michael Turner's Atlanta Falcons took on Larry English and the San Diego Chargers. Turner had another solid game for the Falcons finishing with 47 yards on 12 carries. He is the second leading rusher in the NFL during preseason with 175 yards on 25 carries. English saw action in his second preseason game, but didn't make the defensive stat sheet. The Falcons won, 27-24.

Garrett Wolfe had a busy night in the Bears' 27-17 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday night. He had three carries for 12 yards, a pass reception and a kickoff return for 13 yards. The third-year running back has 46 yards on nine carries.

Matt Simon and the New Orleans Saints rolled past the Oakland Raiders, 45-7, Saturday night in Oakland. Matt Simon got into the game, but didn't have a reception in the game. Britt Davis and the New York Jets picked up their first win of the preseason, defeating the New York Giants, 27-25. Davis got into the game, but like Simon, didn't have any numbers to show for it.

Hollis Thomas was credited with an assist in the Rams 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night. Thomas has two tackles this preseason, a solo and an assist.

The Detroit Lions edged out Ryan Diem and the Indianapolis Colts, 18-17, Saturday in Detroit. The Colts and their first team offense played three quarters and put up 14 points.

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 20-13, Saturday in Big D. Doug Free saw playing time, however, Sam Hurd didn't see any action, but has six receptions for 96 yards in two preseason games.
Jake Nordin and the Minnesota Vikings take the field tonight when they take on the Texans in Houston. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 10:10 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

According to our front page "Countdown Clock," we are only five days, and just over seven hours away from colliding with the Badgers!  The Huskies will depart for Madison, Wis., Friday in preparation for the season opener at Camp Randall Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. CST.  Stay tuned to and "Huskie Happenings" all week for exclusive football coverage!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 10:02 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

Thanks to our buddy John Sahly of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle for his feature story on Sean Progar (formerly known as Sean Progar-Jackson).  Progar has completed the success story of being a scout-team player to scholarship recipient in just one season.  He will be looking to re-kindle his defensive end fire from his Glenbrook South High School career, which helped him record 40 career sacks.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:51 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

Northern Illinois linebacker Pat Schiller, a native of Geneva, Ill., will make his first-career start at Wisconsin on Saturday (that's right, football starts THIS WEEKEND gang).  Read in this feature by Lindsey Willhite of the Daily Herald about Schiller's state of mind heading into this season.  


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:29 am on Monday, August 24, 2009

In case you haven't walked outside over the last 72 hours, you heard it here first: it's no longer summer outside. That's the bad news ... the good news is, we're back in the game with events here at NIU.  In the season-opening NIU Invitational, the Huskies went 3-1, securing a second-place finish.  You can read each of the recaps on the volleyball schedule page on  The women's soccer team wasted no time grabbing its first win of the season, blanking Valparaiso in Friday's season opener.  The Huskies dropped to .500 with a 1-0 setback at Southeast Missouri State Sunday afternoon. 


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:31 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

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By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:30 am on Monday, August 31, 2009

Have a Huskie Happening we missed? Let us know by e-mailing us here! We only have so many sets of eyes, but the Huskie Nation sees all!
Event Calendar
Men's Basketball
Saturday, Nov 28 at Idaho
Women's Basketball
Saturday, Nov 28 vs Cal State Fullerton
Men's Basketball
Wednesday, Dec 2 vs Chicago State
Women's Basketball
Thursday, Dec 3 at Milwaukee
Thursday, Dec 3 vs Central Michigan
Friday, Dec 4 vs Bowling Green
Men's Basketball
Friday, Dec 4 at Missouri
Women's Track
Friday, Dec 4 vs Notre Dame Meet


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