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Oct. 26, 2009

NIU WOMEN'S FOOTBALL TEAM

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:08 am on Friday, October 23, 2009

Or that's what the Huskie women's basketball team felt like this offseason. The DeKalb Daily Chronicle has this story on how the team spent its summer, and, as a bonus, a Q&A with All-MAC candidate Mauvolyene Adams.


SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:08 am on Friday, October 23, 2009 | Updated at 3:33 p.m.

Fred Mitchell writes in today's Chicago Tribune that the Northern Illinois football team has a very good opportunity to go on a four-game winning streak. Catch all the details here. Jay Taft has an article of similar ilk in today's Rockford Register Star.


IT'S A BIRTHDAY FRIDAY AT NIU ATHLETICS!

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:47 am on Friday, October 23, 2009

Not only is it Friday, it's also October 23, the birthdays of both NIU head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton, and Janaan Mickey, senior administrative assistant in the athletics department.  Happy birthday to both -- the men's basketball team will get back to work on the practice court this afternoon after using Thursday as an off day.  We are exactly three weeks away from the regular season men's basketball opener at Northwestern! 


NIU LIVE TONIGHT

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:55 am on Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't forget to catch NIU Live, featuring Huskie Athletic Director Jeff Compher and Football Coach Jerry Kill! The show airs tonight at 5:30 on 1360 AM WLBK DeKalb, and at 10 p.m. on 670 AM Chicago "The Score."


WOMEN'S TENNIS FEATURED ON QUAD CITIES ONLINE

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 10:31 am on Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brooke Forsberg and Sara McLaughlin came up through the high school tennis ranks together at Moline, and as Daniel Makarewicz of the Quad-Cities Online writes in this feature, knowing each other since "diaper days" has paid off for the tandem in their college tennis days at NIU.  


COFFMAN IN USA TODAY...TODAY

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:00 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2009

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Jake Coffman was a hero to Huskie fans when the defensive end tipped a pass and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown against Western Michigan. He's been a hero to our country a lot longer than that. You can read all about Coffman, a United States Marine who has served two tours in Iraq, in Thursday's edition of USA Today (online version here).


CONFETTI FOR COLLETTI

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:00 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2009

Northern Illinois graduate Ned Colletti just received a multi-year contract extension as general manager of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers. Colletti has been the Dodgers' GM for five seasons, in which LA has been the playoffs four times, and won the National League West twice. Hey Ned! Once a Huskie, always a Huskie, so when you get to the Series next year, keep me in mind for tickets.


YOU'VE GOT MAIL

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By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:00 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2009

If you've ordered season tickets, you do. Check your mail for Huskie basketball season tickets, which were sent out earlier this week. The big question at NIU now is what will happen first: snowfall in DeKalb, or the men's basketball exhibition opener Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. against Aurora.


HOOPS IS IN THE AIR

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:23 am on Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Northern Illinois men's basketball team got into game action for the first time Wednesday night, playing a full-court scrimmage complete with a running clock, scoreboard and officials.  Check out our Twitter site (twitter.com/NIUAthletics) for some in-scrimmage observations. 

John Sahly from HuskieWire.com and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle was on hand to talk to coach Patton and select players about the first week of practice, and what the Huskies need to improve upon heading into the 2009-10 season.  Sahly also provided this Q&A with Tyler Storm.   


GROWING PAINS

Sophomore Me'co Brown can cut on a dime.

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:12 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The 2009 edition of the Northern Illinois University football team has been puzzling to some. The Huskies traveled down to West Lafayette, Ind. in the third week of September and beat Purdue, 28-21, breaking a 19-game losing streak versus teams from the Big Ten Conference that dated back to Sept. 17, 1998. A week later, Idaho came into Huskie Stadium and upset NIU, 34-31.

NIU responded with a spectacular performance against Western Michigan, a team picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference's West Division, defeating the Broncos, 38-3. The Huskies head to Oxford, Ohio this weekend to face Miami after falling to Toledo in the Glass Bowl, 20-19. Consistency has been something the Huskies have struggled with this year and it was a concern for NIU head coach Jerry Kill even before the season began.

"I think we're playing good football at times," Kill said. "I have always had teams that were very well disciplined, and for the most part play very consistent. As I said at the very beginning of the year, we have a very young team. The thing I worried about the most was being consistent."

Kill isn't exaggerating when he says the Huskies are young.  Northern Illinois has 36 players on this year's roster that are new to the team, while another 19 had never played a down for NIU before this year. Those 55 players constitute half of the roster. Despite their youth, the Huskies have posted some impressive numbers halfway through the season.

The Huskies also boast the No. 1 rushing offense in the league, and the MAC's leading rusher in sophomore tailback Me'co Brown who averages 5.6 yards per carry and 93.2 yards per game so far this season. NIU also leads the league and is tied for third in the nation in red zone offense, scoring 24 times in 25 trips inside the opposition's 20-yard line, scoring 17 touchdowns and seven field goals in the red zone.

One of the issues with playing younger players is dealing with the mistakes they make.

"When you play some younger players, they're used to just playing," he said. "When you have to look at so many different looks and no huddles, if you're not concentrating, it takes one guy making a mistake and it's a touchdown."

Kill believes the key to the Huskies getting better is discipline. The Huskie coaching staff has spent the last seven weeks teaching their players the little things.

"When you have someone that's 17-18 years old, there are going to be a lot of questions," Kill said. "You don't stop coaching those guys. You're teaching those guys how to act on the sidelines, where to stand on the sideline, how to come out of the locker room, how to act before a game, how to act after you lose a game. You're teaching them the very basics on what life is all about."


THE DIRT ON THE NEW SURFACE

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:05 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The latest facility improvement at Northern Illinois is underway at Mary M. Bell Field. The most recent upgrade to the 18-year old diamond is the addition on a new infield playing surface.  Hilltopper, a synthetic product created by Stabilizer Solutions, is a polymer coated dirt that does not react to water. Water literally beads up like it would on a freshly waxed car. As a result, the NIU grounds crew will not be using drying agents such as Turface, Diamond Dry or even chalk for the lines, saving man power and money. Drying agents would mix in with the material and clump, making it ineffective. Water will be removed from the infield using a roller or blower. The new playing surface will allow the team to get on the field earlier in the season. Northern Illinois joins the likes of Northwestern and DePaul which already utilize Hilltopper.

A NEW HUSKIE IS BORN!!!

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:44 pm on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This just in!  Northern Illinois head women's tennis coach Ryun Ferrell welcomed the fourth member to his family, and the latest to the Huskie Family, at 10:51 this morning.  Ryun and his wife Debbie gave birth to a baby girl, Delaney Patricia Ferrell, weighing in at 8 pounds and 22 inches long.  The couple also has a 3-year old son, Brody.

Congrats to the Ferrell's and welcome to the Huskie Family, Delaney!


LeWANG CUP ON THE LINE TODAY

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:45 am on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Head out the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex today at 3 p.m., and you'll get to see something rare in college soccer: a cup game. The Huskie men's soccer team takes on Milwaukee in the annual battle for the LeWang Cup, named for John LeWang, a former coach at both schools who died as head coach of NIU in a car accident three weeks before the 1981 season. More details on the particulars of today's match can be found here.

Another rarity that you can see Tuesday are Milwaukee's uniforms. Always bold, here are some examples from the last couple of seasons:

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"Buzzzzzzzzzzzz...sting! Die."

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Do these horizontal stripes make me look fat?


IMPACT PLAYER

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:30 am on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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Freshman Courtney Oldenburg is fast. How fast? Faster than me, and probably faster than you.

Freshman Courtney Oldenburg has been an impact player in her first year at Northern Illinois. Courtney is on the NIU cross country team, where she has been the Huskies' top finisher in every race this season. Last weekend she returned home to Wisconsin for the Tori Neubauer Invitational. You can read a local angle on the result here, courtesy of the LaCrosse Tribune.


TURNER & HOOCH WOLFE

By Zach Peters | Posted at 12:45 pm on Monday, October 19, 2009

Former Huskie standout running backs Michael Turner (2000-03) and Garrett Wolfe (2004-06) faced each other in last night's Chicago Bears - Atlanta Falcons NFL game as Turner and the Falcons bested Wolfe and the Bears, 21-14, in Atlanta.  Wolfe, who overtook Turner as NIU's career rushing yards and touchdowns leader (5,164 yards - 52 touchdowns), carried the ball three times for 15 yards.  But it was Turner who had the last laugh as he scored the game-winning touchdown on a tough five-yard run with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter.  Turner, who finished his career at NIU with 4,941 yards and 43 touchdowns, ended up with 30 yards on 13 carries with the TD and had two catches for 16 yards.

With the Bears at 3-2 and the Falcons at 4-1, maybe this won't be the last time these two meet on the gridiron this year!


REMEMBER ME?!

By Zach Peters | Posted at 12:26 pm on Monday, October 19, 2009

Former NIU running back A.J. Harris (2002-05) enjoyed a late season debut yesterday in Week 16 of the Canadian Football League as he scored the game-winning touchdown to help the B.C. Lions defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 24-21, in come-from-behind fashion.  Harris, who ran for 1,637 yards and 12 touchdowns as a Huskie, ran the ball 21 times for 89 yards and also caught five passes for 92 yards as he filled in for injured starter Travis Lulay.  For more info on the former Huskie's big day, check out the game recap.


FIVE FOR FIGHTING

By Zach Peters | Posted at 9:55 am on Monday, October 19, 2009

NIU volleyball extended its winning streak to five matches over the weekend as the Huskies earned their first two MAC road wins of the season by winning a pair of four-set matches against Buffalo and Akron.  With two Western Michigan road losses to the same opponents as NIU, the Huskies moved within one match of first place in the MAC West. 

For a brief recap of NIU's winning weekend, check out Jackie Thyfault's article in the Northern Star.  For full recaps of each match, click here for the Buffalo match and here for the Akron match.


PEPTO ANYONE?

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:25 am on Monday, October 19, 2009

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We can always remember Chandler Harnish's 21-yard completion to Perez Ashford fourth-and-13.

A tough weekend to digest for the Huskie football team with the 20-19 loss at Toledo. For those who need to take in the full picture before moving on, here's a photo gallery to go with the box score and game notes. The DeKalb Daily Chronicle had its recap to go with this column and a story today by John Sahly.

Lesson of the weekend? It's never, ever, ever going to be easy to win in the MAC, especially on the road. There's plenty of upside out there. The Huskies have one more game on the road (at 0-7 Miami) before three-in-a-row at home (10/31 vs. Akron, 11/5 vs. Eastern Michigan, 11/12 vs. Ball State). Every game is important, but this stretch is pivotal, and the Huskies need your support at home! Tickets are still available for all three remaining home games, so you can Experience it Live!


WE TALKIN' BOUT PRACTICE?!?!

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:34 am on Friday, October 16, 2009

The fall sports season isn't even half-way completed yet, but yes folks, it's officially BASKETBALL SEASON!  The Northern Illinois men's and women's hoops teams will begin preparing for their respective 2009-10 campaigns today, with each holding their first organized practice sessions.  Stay tuned to NIUHuskies.com later today for season previews for both the men's and women's teams, in conjunction with the kick-off of the season.    


THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE LOCKER ROOM

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:29 am on Friday, October 16, 2009

Another great story by our buddy John Sahly of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle and HuskieWire.com.  As he reveals in this feature, Me'co Brown and Chad Spann aren't just the workhorses of the Huskie offense -- they are also pretty successful practical jokers, and tend to "keep things loose" in the locker room both in the Yordon Center and on the road.  


HAVE A HAPPENING?

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:58 am on Monday, October 12, 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 Soccer
Wednesday, Oct 1 at SMU
Women's Volleyball
Thursday, Oct 2 vs Western Michigan
Women's Soccer
Friday, Oct 3 vs Kent State
Women's Tennis
Friday, Oct 3 at UIC Invite
Football
Saturday, Oct 4 vs Kent State
Men's Soccer
Saturday, Oct 4 at Loyola Chicago
Women's Golf
Saturday, Oct 4 at Diane Thomason Invitational
Women's Cross Country
Saturday, Oct 4 at Greater Louisville Classic
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Oct 4 at Miami (Ohio)
Women's Tennis
Saturday, Oct 4 at UIC Invite
Softball
Sunday, Oct 5 vs Loyola
Softball
Sunday, Oct 5 at Northwestern
Women's Soccer
Sunday, Oct 5 vs Ohio
Women's Golf
Sunday, Oct 5 at Diane Thomason Invitational
Men's Golf
Sunday, Oct 5 at Erin Hills Intercollegiate
Men's Golf
Monday, Oct 6 at Erin Hills Intercollegiate
Men's Golf
Tuesday, Oct 7 at Erin Hills Intercollegiate
Men's Soccer
Wednesday, Oct 8 vs Northwestern
Women's Soccer
Friday, Oct 10 vs Buffalo
Women's Volleyball
Friday, Oct 10 at Eastern Michigan

 

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