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Sept. 28, 2009

Huskie Happenings


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:36 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

Now that its non-conference schedule is complete, the Huskie volleyball team will begin its Mid-American Conference schedule this weekend on the road against Ball State (Friday @ 6 p.m. CT) and Toledo (Saturday @ 6 p.m.).  Here's our preview release, and this is the Northern Star's preview done by Jackie Thyfault.

Live stats for each match can be found by clicking these links: NIU @ BSU, NIU @ UT.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:26 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

For many of us who have siblings, it was fun back in the days when you could pick on your younger sibling all the time with little retaliation because you were just that much older and more developed.  However, it's not as much fun when your younger sibling grows up to be bigger than you and makes you know about it.  According to Mark Hasty of, the Big Ten and Mid-American Conference have a similiar relationship with the MAC being the younger sibling, taking numerous beatdowns over the years.  But now Hasty believes those days are over and the MAC is no longer looking up to its older sibling.  One of his main focuses in the article is NIU's 28-21 road win over Purdue last Saturday.  


Luzzi Officials

Luzzi expressed cordiality with officials and Peter Schinkai of the MAC Daily.

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:25 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

Head men's soccer coach Eric Luzzi is featured on the MAC Daily podcast with Peter Schinkai. The two discuss tonight's match with Oregon State, Luzzi's first season as head coach, and a variety of other topics on the show.


Claeys Santa

Good thing he's worrying more about Idaho than what embarrasing photos are on Huskie Happenings.

By Donna Turner | Posted at 8:59 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

Some well-deserved recognition for NIU defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys and the Huskie defensive staff, who were honored by as "Game Changing Coaches" after the games of Sept. 19.   While we thank the folks at for the love, we'd like the honor even more if they had Tracy's name right!



The Huskies may not be #1 on his ballot, but they are #1 in his heart.

By Donna Turner | Posted at 8:59 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

Another former Huskie coach popped up in the news this week as Joe Novak was named one of 114 panelists participating in the weekly Harris Interactive College Football Poll for 2009.  The poll is one of the components of the BCS Standings that will be used to determine the two teams that will play in the BCS National Championship game and those that qualify for selection into the other BCS games. Novak is in the group of former coaches, player, administrators and current and former media who will weekly select a "Top 25."   The 12-year Huskies' head man (1996-2007) and his wife, Carole, now reside in Southport, N.C. and closely follow Northern Illinois football.  


By Donna Turner | Posted at 8:59 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

The Northern Illinois tailback duo of Me'co Brown and Chad Spann have collected their share of headlines over the past week with Brown leading the Mid-American Conference in rushing while Spann ranks among the top touchdown scorers in the nation.

Brown had some interesting and even funny things to say about the complementary talents he and Spann have shown this year in this story on  Not to mention a little TOO much information on his medical state during the game. Spann, meanwhile, did a great job in this interview with one of his hometown sports radio stations.  Listen to the podcast here.



Matt Simon had four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown last time the Huskies played Idaho. Let's hope his good fortune rubs off.

By Donna Turner | Posted at 8:59 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

The Huskies welcomed a familiar face to practice on Thursday as former NIU wide receiver Matt Simon joined the traditional huddle at day's end to lead the team in the fight song.  Simon, who has been on the Saints' practice squad but fell victim to the numbers game due to some recent roster moves.  The club did tell him to stay by the phone as they'd like him back, but for now the Minnesota native is on vacation and Simon said he will attend Saturday's game versus Idaho.


By Donna Turner | Posted at 8:59 am on Friday, September 25, 2009

There is a lot going on at Saturday's football game between Northern Illinois and Idaho as the Huskies close out the non-conference portion of their 2009 schedule.  First of all, it is the 1,000th intercollegiate game in Northern Illinois football history, dating back to the very first contest in 1899.  To celebrate that occasion, the 1,000th fan in the stadium will win a $1,000 prize pack on Saturday.

While NIU celebrates its history, there will be one true pioneer on the field as the FBS' only female official is scheduled to work as the line judge at Saturday's game.  Sarah Thomas, a Mississippi native who is a member of the Conference USA/Mountain West/WAC crew, will be "shadowed" during the game by a crew from NBC Nightly News for an upcoming story.  She has already been profiled in the New York Times.

It's also Band Day, so be prepared to be thoroughly entertained by the annual Band Day halftime show.  How they get those 1200 kids playing in unison is always amazing.  NIU will also play host to nearly 800 Boy Scouts at the Idaho game.  Scout Day, which includes a post-game autograph session with the Huskies, a movie on the stadium video board and a camp out on the intramural fields, has grown in popularity over the years.
Lastly, the Northern Illinois and Idaho coaches will be wearing black armbands in honor of the AFCA Coach to Cure MD initiative taking place across the country on Saturday.  For more on the Coach to Cure plans and how you can become involved, check out this release.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 4:23 pm on Thursday, September 24, 2009

There will now be two brother-brother combinations from the NIU men's basketball team.  Bryan Hall's (nicknamed "B Hall" by his teammates) brother, Brandon, has joined the basketball team at Lewis University.  Don't forget, Lee Fisher's twin brother, William, plays baseball at South Suburban College.    


Cheers!  The 2010 NIU baseball schedule is here!

By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:46 am on Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Northern Illinois baseball program announced its 2010 schedule yesterday!  The Huskies will start the first 19 games on the road and will take advantage of some warm weather by playing in Arizona, Tennessee and California during that span in late February and early March while most of us will more than likely be enjoying the fresh snow here in DeKalb.  "The Boys of Summer" truly know how to spoil themselves, and I don't blame them! 

Among the 2010 hitlist are the usual suspects - Bradley, Illinois Chicago, Illinois State, Milwaukee, Northwestern, Southern Illinois, Valparaiso, and of course the MAC foes.  The Huskies will also take on Arizona State for the second year in a row.  Among the newbies to the hit list are Austin Peay State, CSU Bakersfield, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. 

Here's the schedule release and this is a PDF of the entire slate.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:32 am on Thursday, September 24, 2009

We all know Me'co Brown's sweet week at Purdue earned him MAC West Offensive Player of the Week accolades. The Chicago Tribune mentioned it here, but if you'd like more Huskie coverage in the 'Trib, give them a call and let them know at 1-800-TRIBUNE.


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Chris Smith upends a Wisco player in his first Division-I college game.

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:32 am on Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chris and Donald Smith of the NIU football team have taken a long, long road to DeKalb. You can read about the journey that's led them here in this Daily Chronicle Story.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:32 am on Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coach Kill's now famous fake punt call that helped the Huskies win the Purdue game has gained attention across the nation. Berry Tramel, and Oklahoma sports blogger, calls Kill his new favorite coach in this story. We're making Huskie fans across the country!


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:16 am on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TIn an effort to guide people to all has to offer, we direct you to the Huskie Stadium Football Gameday Information. In it are some guidelines on what you can and can't do during gameday at Huskie Stadium. Here's a good one - don't do this:


Allison McGlaughlin soared for a career-best 26 kills to help NIU defeat DePaul, 3-1, last night.

By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:02 am on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The NIU volleyball team took down Chicago-area rival DePaul last night at Victor E. Court in a 25-27, 25-16, 25-22, 27-25 decision as sophomore Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) led the way with a career-high 26 kills and totaled 11 digs for her second straight double-double.  Northern Star writer Jackie Thyfault covered the Huskie victory and McGlaughlin's big night.


Say No to Idaho


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:38 am on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just a few days away from NIU football taking on Idaho (Saturday at 2:30 p.m. - Get your tickets here), and we've got a little prepatory package so you know all you need to for the game that could put the Huskies at 3-1 for their non-conference schedule. Here's a press conference transcript, including quotes from Jerry Kill, Brian Lawson and David Bryant. Also here's the package of notes and stats.

But that's never enough here on Huskie Happenings. Here are some other enlightening thoughts about Idaho.

  • Not everyone from Idaho is a Vandal, but everyone from the state is an Idahoan.
  • Idaho is one of two places in the world where star garnets can be found.
  • Idaho looks like it used to be a rectangle than this guy took a big bite out of the northeast corner.
  • The state that now bears the name Idaho was originally called the Colorado Territory.
  • The Vandals are one of three division I teams in the state. The others: Boise State Broncos, Idaho State Bengals.
  • And of course, Idaho grows one-third of the potatoes produced in the United States, which can be eaten, or carved into creepy faces.


Come cheer on the Huskies tonight!

By Zach Peters | Posted at 9:48 am on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The NIU volleyball team will take on Chicago-area rival DePaul tonight at 7 p.m. CT at Victor E. Court in the Huskies' last non-conference match before starting Mid-American Conference play this weekend on the road.  Here's the preview story, and live stats will be available on GameTracker.


Brown Touchdown

No. You don't almost have him.

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:58 am on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I know he doesn't score all the touchdowns for the Huskies, but "Touchdown" Brown is just about as much fun as you can have with a nickname. And it's almost as much fun as watching Me'co Brown's 67-yard touchdown run that earned him MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors. I'm not sure what has better cuts, Me'co, or this legendary apparatus.


Keith Smith (#10), pictured here in an exhibition game from last season, will be one of NIU's key newcomers this season.

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 1:46 pm on Monday, September 21, 2009

Blue Ribbon Yearbook released its 2009-10 preseason college basketball polls and all-conference teams over the weekend, and has the Huskies ranked fourth in the Mid-American Conference West Division, ahead of both Ball State and Toledo.  Here's how the poll stacked up, and the publication's preseason first-team.

MAC-West Preseason Poll

(1) Central Michigan

(2) Western Michigan

(3) Eastern Michigan

(4) Northern Illinois

(5) Ball State

(6) Toledo


MAC-East Preseason Poll

(1) Akron

(2) Buffalo

(3) Kent State

(4) Ohio

(5) Miami (Ohio)

(6) Bowling Green


Preseason All-MAC Team

Rodney Pierce, Sr., G Buffalo

Armon Bassett, Jr., G, Ohio

Kenny Hayes, Sr., G, Miami (Ohio)

David Kool, Sr., G, Western Michigan

Brett McKnight, Jr., F, Akron


Preseason Player of the Year

Kenny Hayes, Sr., G, Miami (Ohio)


Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Armon Bassett, Jr., G, Ohio


Huskies, come on you Huskies and make a score or two (or three!) ...

By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:04 am on Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm sure most of you know by now, but if you don't - The NIU football team beat Purdue, 28-21, in West Lafayette, Ind., marking the Huskies' first win over a Big Ten opponent since 1988!  With such a grand victory comes a ton of coverage and great tid bits.  So let us begin.  Of course, we will first start with our own coverage here at  Here's the Northern Star's recap by Ben Gross.  Rockford Register Star's Jay Taft wrote about ending the drought against the Big Ten.  Here's the Chicago Sun-Times' recap by Cliff Brunt and the Chicago Tribune's recap by Fred Mitchell.  This is the Associated Press story that ran in the Daily Herald.  The Daily Chronicle has three articles to check out as well - James Nokes' recap, John Sahly's take on the "historic day" and his feature on the gutsy fake punt that the NIU coaching staff called late in the fourth quarter.

From the Purdue perspective, here are recaps from and      


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:26 am on Monday, September 21, 2009

Running Back Chad Spann initially started his career at NIU as a walk-on, but the Indianapolis, Ind. native earned himself a scholarship through hard work and capitalized on his chance to return to his home state by scoring a pair of touchdowns in the Huskies' big victory over Purdue in West Lafayette. writer Jeff Rabjohns documented Spann's story on Saturday before the big game. 

Spann was also featured prior to Saturday's win by's Scott Powers as the junior running back entered the Purdue game as the nation's leader in touchdowns, which few people knew, even his position coach Rob Reeves didn't know.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 9:56 am on Monday, September 21, 2009

Daily Herald columnist Lindsey Willhite featured an article on Saturday about Huskie kicker Mike Salerno's future at the next level.  Willhite highlights and relates two facts together in the story - Draft expert Mel Kiper ranks Salerno as the No. 5 kicking prospect for next year's NFL draft; Salerno won the long-drive contest at NIU's golf fundraiser over the summer.  According to Salerno, it's all in the hips.  


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:58 am on Monday, September 21, 2009

Be the first to know by following us on Twitter. It's as easy as heading to


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:58 am on Monday, September 21, 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!



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