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Oct. 5, 2009

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:33 am on Friday, October 2, 2009

In just a few short hours, the International Olympic Commitee will be making its announcement as to which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago is in the running and is competing against Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid. While NIU will not be hosting any events, it has been listed as a potential training site for teams. We wish Chicago the best of luck!

VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:25 am on Friday, October 2, 2009

Graham Couch, the Western Michigan beat writer for the Kalamazoo Gazette, offers his take on this weekend's games in his preview story. Couch feels the offenses will be a major factor in the form of Me'co Brown's legs and the arm of Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller.

WELCOMING THE CHALLENGE

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:46 am on Friday, October 2, 2009

A very timely feature advance by Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune on NIU kicker Mike Salerno.  Salerno, who will also be featured in Saturday's edition of Huskie Illustrated, the official game program for NIU football, is expecting to have a chance to be a "difference-maker" in Saturday's game.  As he told Fred, he's welcoming that challenge.  


HILLER, WMU PRESENTS GREAT CHALLENGE SATURDAY

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:42 am on Friday, October 2, 2009

In advance of Saturday's homecoming showdown with Western Michigan, Rick Armstrong of the Aurora Beacon News had this examination of Bronco quarterback Tim Hiller.  NIU head coach Jerry Kill had some complimentary remarks about both Hiller and WMU mentor Bill Cubit. 


TUNE IN

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:05 am on Thursday, October 1, 2009

Huskie talk will be all over the air waves tonight. Tune in to The Score (670 AM Chicago) tonight at 10 p.m. for NIU Live with Associate V.P./Athletics Director Jeff Compher and Head Football Coach Jerry Kill. You can also catch the program at 5:30 p.m. on WLBk (1360 AM DeKalb). You can also catch Inside Huskie Sports, featuring Coach Kill, along with Head Men's Soccer Coach Eric Luzzi and midfielder/forward Luis De La Cerda today at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.

CATCHING ON

By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:15 am on Thursday, October 1, 2009

Through the first four games of the 2009 campaign, one player that has emerged as a key member of the Huskie offense has been wide receiver Landon Cox. The junior from Calumet City, Ill. is having a breakout season and enters Saturday's game with Western Michigan (2:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Northern Illinois/ISP Network) after posting the best game of his career.

"I'm going to continue to do whatever I can to help the team win," Cox said. "There are definitely things out there that I could have done better [on Saturday]. I want to continue to build on what I did last game."
Cox had a career-high 53 yards on five catches, including a four-yard touchdown reception against Idaho, and leads the Huskies in receiving with 10 catches for 93 yards.

The Huskies top possession receiver with four of his 10 catches going for either a first down or a touchdown, Cox is the biggest Huskie wide out on the roster. At 6-3, 213 pounds, he used his size to his advantage in Saturday's game with Idaho, dragging two Vandal defenders an additional 15 yards to post a career-long 29-yard catch. That size also comes in handy in his run-blocking ability. NIU coaches have named him the team's offensive skill player of the week times in the Huskies' first four games, based in part on his tremendous downfield blocking.

"I think he's one of the most important players on our offensive football team," NIU head coach Jerry Kill said. "Landon is a guy that's a slash wide receiver. He's physical enough to block as a tight end. He catches the ball well. He plays physical. He is a hard-nosed physical player."




VOLLEYBALL RESUMES HOME SCHEDULE TONIGHT!

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:20 am on Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Northern Illinois volleyball team will host MAC-West foe Western Michigan at Victor E. Court tonight, and will be looking to pick up its first league win of the young season.  Come check out the Huskies at 7 p.m.!  NIU will also host Miami (Ohio) following Saturday's football game, as part of the Homecoming festivities.  


GOING ONE-ON-ONE WITH CHANDLER

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:13 am on Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our buddy from the DeKalb Daily Chronicle/HuskieWire.com John Sahly caught up with Northern Illinois signal caller Chandler Harnish Tuesday afternoon, and provided this Q&A.  One interesting notable: Harnish is a huge fan of and pays close attention to Central Michigan quarterback Dan LaFeavour, Florida signal caller Tim Tebow and Jevan Snead from Ole Miss.    


RUNNING GAME KEY TO SATURDAY'S GAME

By Joe Summins | Posted at 3:15 pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday's Mid-American Conference opener between Northern Illinois (2-2, 0-0) and Western Michigan (2-2, 1-0) is a key early season game for both teams if they want to realize their goal of winning the MAC Championship this season. The Huskies were picked to finish third in the MAC West, behind the Broncos, who were selected to finish second in the division by the MAC coaches.

"Right now, everybody in the MAC feels good," NIU head coach Jerry Kill said. "Some have played already, but anybody who's starting out in it feels pretty good because everybody is 0-0 so to speak. This is really when the season starts."

Kickoff for NIU's 103rd Homecoming game is set for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and ESPN GamePlan (except in Chicago) with Dave Kaplan and Bob Chmiel calling the action. The game will also be available on radio with the play-by-play voice of the Huskies, Bill Baker, and Mark Lindo on the call via the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network, which consists of three stations for 2009: WSCR AM 670 "The Score" (Chicago), WLBK-AM 1360 in DeKalb and WTJK-AM ESPN 1380 (Janesville, Wisc.).

Saturday's match up features two potent offenses. Both average over 350 yards of total offense, with the Broncos ranked third in the league averaging 365.2 yards a game and the Huskies are fifth in the conference with 358.8 yards per game. The Huskies also feature the No. 3 scoring offense in the MAC, averaging 30.0 points a game and are tops in red zone scoring offense, scoring on 18-of-19 trips inside the 20. Kill believes the running game is going to play a big factor in the success of either team.

"If you can't stop the run and you can't run the ball, you're not going to win very many games," Kill said. "I firmly believe that. The key to the game is we've got to stop the run and we've got to be able to run it."

The Huskies boast the top rushing team in the MAC, averaging 188 yards a game, while the Broncos are 10th in the league averaging 94 yards a game. NIU and WMU are third and fourth in the league, respectively, in rushing defense.

Stopping the run will be a primary concern for the Huskie defense, but it won't be the only one. Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller has a strong and accurate arm and averages 262 yards passing a game and leads the fourth-ranked passing attack in the MAC.

"I think he's special," Kill said. "I think he has a chance to play at the next level. Without a doubt, he has a strong arm and can throw it all over the place. I think he's very intelligent. Mentally, he understands the game, and you're not going to trick him."

"He is similar to the Idaho quarterback, in terms of accuracy," NIU linebacker Cory Hanson said. "He wants to sit in the pocket and throw. He's been good every year against us, and we feel that we are ready to step up to the challenge. Being in the MAC, we always face good quarterbacks. After last week, the defense is ready to step up and prove that we're ready for the challenge."

The Huskie players are very aware of the importance of this game in terms of their chances at winning the MAC.

"For this game, we just want to go out motivated knowing that we have a goal to reach and that we want to reach that goal," NIU wide receiver Landon Cox said. "We focus on what we need to do to win games and to improve from game to game. We go into practice knowing what we need to do to go out there and succeed and achieve the goals we want to achieve."


SPREADING LOVE FOR THE COMMUNITY

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:35 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As recognized by the Midweek in this story, the NIU Athletics Department will open up its soccer facility for the cross-town soccer rivalry between DeKalb and Sycamore High School.  The Barbs and Spartans have never gone head-to-head at NIU, but will do so for the first time Oct. 5 beginning at 4:30 p.m.


IT'S A PREVIEW WEDNESDAY

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:25 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We've completed our previewing, and now, only on NIUHuskies.com, you can read up on keys to the game against Western Michigan, homecoming traditions and much more, in the weekly football release.  Head coach Jerry Kill also addressed the media Tuesday, and we have his comments. There's a chill in the air, and it's time for October football in the Mid-American Conference! 


KILL PRESS CONFERENCE

By Joe Summins | Posted at 5:55 pm on Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In case you missed it, (and if you're not a member of the media, you probably didn't even know about it) NIU head football coach Jerry Kill conducted his weekly press briefing. It was a very entertaining half hour in which Kill covered everything from last week's game with Purdue, the challenge facing the Huskies this weekend when they welcome Western Michigan to Huskie Stadium for this year's Homecoming game. He also introduced a new term to the coaching vernacular--cockroached.

Don't fret. You can watch the press conference in its entireity on Huskies All-Access. To find Huskies All-Access, log on to www.niuhuskies.com and click on the For Fans tab at the top of the page, then click Huskies All-Access.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Campus Activities Board, NIU Athletics and the NIU Convocation Center will be hosting the first annual Huskie Homecoming Bonfire Friday beginning at 5 p.m.  The festivities will kick off with a tailgate in Lot C3 of the Convocation Center -- the first 1,000 people to attend will receive free hot dogs and soda!  The actual bonfire will be lit at approximately at 6:45 p.m., when the Huskie Marching Band, Silverettes and Cheerleaders will be called upon to "pump up the crowd."  There will be ensuing speeches from Associate V.P./Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, NIU volleyball coach Ray Gooden and head football coach Jerry Kill.  Come out Friday and show your Huskie Pride!  


TEACHING TOOL

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:33 am on Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NIU head football coach Jerry Kill never misses an opportunity to teach his players. At practice, during the game, after the game, off the field, Kill is constantly educating the Huskies to make not only make them better players, but better people. He talked about how Saturday's loss is the perfect instrument in which to teach his players during the weekly MAC Coaches' Teleconference. John Sahly of the Daily Chronicle was on the call and posted this story.


BE ON THE LOOKOUT

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:28 pm on Monday, September 28, 2009

Keep an eye out in your mailboxes! Basketball season ticket renewal forms have been mailed out. The men's team tips off the 2009-10 season with an exhibition game with Aurora University Nov. 1, 2009 at the Convocation Center, while the women play host Lewis Unversity Nov. 10. To order season or single game tickets click here or call 815-752-6800.


DINNER AND A SHOW

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:15 pm on Monday, September 28, 2009

Be sure to head over to Fatty's Pub and Grille (1312 W. Lincoln Hwy) later today for the live taping of "Inside Huskie Sports" at 5:30 p.m. Join host Brad Hoey as he sits down with NIU head football coach Jerry Kill to disect last week's game with Idaho and preview this weekend's Homecoming game with Western Michigan. Huskie men's soccer coach Eric Luzzi will also be there to discuss NIU winning the Oregon State Zaher/Hensor Memorial.


WOLFE IN BEARS' CLOTHING

By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:01 am on Monday, September 28, 2009

Want to hear how Garrett Wolfe's life as a running back in the NFL has been going straight from Garrett? Here's you chance. The Huskies' all-time leading rusher will join Fox Chicago's Corey McPherrin tonight for "Monday Night Live" at Joe's Bar, 940 Weed St. in Downtown Chicago. The show is open to the public free of charge and begins at 6:30 p.m. Wolfe will break down the Bears' 25-19 victory over Seattle and his life as a Bear.


FILLING THE GAPS

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:49 am on Monday, September 28, 2009

The defensive line was an area of great interest during summer camp this year. How would the Huskies account for the loss of first round draft pick Larry English, two other members of last year's front four to graduation? A couple guys have stepped up and filled the void left by those departed players as Rick Armstrong of the Aurora Beacon News points out in this story.


MAKING HISTORY

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:49 am on Monday, September 28, 2009

History was made at Huskie Stadium over the weekend. Not only was it Northern Illinois' 1,000th football game, but Sarah Thomas became the first female line judge to work a football game at NIU. A camera crew from NBC Nightly News was there to document Thomas' every move and will air during tonight's broadcast. and will re-air on Saturday's Today Show. John Sahly caught up with Thomas beofre the game and filed this story.


 

HAVE A HAPPENING?

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 11:58 am on Monday, September 28, 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
Women's Soccer
Friday, Oct 24 vs Eastern Michigan
Women's Volleyball
Friday, Oct 24 at Kent State
Wrestling
Friday, Oct 24 vs Red/Black Dual
Football
Saturday, Oct 25 at Eastern Michigan
Men's Soccer
Saturday, Oct 25 at Buffalo
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Oct 25 at Ohio
Women's Soccer
Sunday, Oct 26 vs Bowling Green
Women's Soccer
Thursday, Oct 30 at Western Michigan
Women's Volleyball
Friday, Oct 31 at Ball State
Men's Tennis
Friday, Oct 31 vs MAC Fall Indoor Chmpionships
Men's Soccer
Saturday, Nov 1 vs Akron
Women's Cross Country
Saturday, Nov 1 vs MAC Championships
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Nov 1 at Toledo
Men's Tennis
Saturday, Nov 1 vs MAC Fall Indoor Chmpionships
Women's Soccer
Sunday, Nov 2 vs Quarterfinals
Wrestling
Sunday, Nov 2 at Michigan State Open
Men's Tennis
Sunday, Nov 2 vs MAC Fall Indoor Chmpionships

 

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