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Nov. 2, 2009

DON'T FORGET THE "HUSKIE HALLOWEEN BASH"

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 10:05 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

The first annual "Huskie Halloween Bash" is on tap for the time between the home football and volleyball contests on Saturday.  Coaches and players from the men's and women's basketball teams will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on the concourse of the Convocation Center from 4-6:30 p.m. -- then head over to Victor E. Court to cheer on the Huskie volleyball squad in its regular season home finale!

Also, be on the lookout for announcement for a chance to meet and greet head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton and his staff, along with women's basketball head coach Carol Owens and her assistants, next Tuesday (November 3) at Eduardo's Mexican Restaurant from 6-8 p.m.  Basketball is in the air!


VOLLEYBALL WRAPS UP HOME SCHEDULE THIS WEEKEND

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:45 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

The Northern Illinois volleyball team will wrap up its four-match home stand, as well as its 2009 regular season home schedule this weekend versus Mid-American Conference West Division foes Toledo and Ball State, respectively.  On Saturday, fans attending the match can pay just $1 by showing their football ticket stub from the NIU-Akron game.  Free admission is also offered to anyone wearing a Halloween costume -- a costume contest will also be held!  


HALL OF FAME FESTIVITIES ON TAP FOR TONIGHT

The 1981-82 NIU men's basketball team will be inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame tonight.

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:50 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

Five more individuals, along with the 1981-82 NIU men's basketball team (the first to advance to the NCAA Tournament) will be enshrined into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame tonight at the Duke Ellington Ballroom at NIU's Holmes Student Center beginning at 7 p.m.  Be sure to stick around during halftime of Saturday's football game to see the class be celebrated!


AKRON "ZIPS" INTO TOWN FOR EARLY SATURDAY CONTEST

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:45 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

Akron will mark Northern Illinois' fourth home opponent of the season on Saturday, when the Huskies and Zips collide at Huskie Stadium beginning at 11 a.m.  As Rick Armstrong alludes to in this preview advance, like many teams across the country, NIU and Akron have both suffered their fair share of bumps and bruises this season. 


NIU ON THE AIR

By Joe Summins | Posted at 3:44 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

As always, Thursday is a big day for NIU on the airwaves. It starts when head football coach Jerry Kill joins host Brad Hoey on "Inside Huskie Sports" as the two breakdown the victory over Miami and preview NIU's game with Akron. It airs today at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and will re-air Saturday on MyNetwork TV in Rockford at 10:30 a.m. just before kickoff of the Huskies game with Akron at 11 a.m. on the same channel.

After "IHS," tune into 1360 AM WLBK for "NIU Live" tonight at 5:30 p.m. to listen to Kill and Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher as the two talk all things NIU with host Andy Garcia. The show will air in the Chicago market tonight at 10 p.m. on WSCR 670 AM The Score.


"HOME" STRETCH

By Joe Summins | Posted at 3:04 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

After two weeks on the road, the Northern Illinois University football team returns home to Huskie Stadium for a Halloween match up with Akron.  The Huskies (4-3, 2-1) head into Saturday's contest (11 .am., ESPN Plus/ESPN GamePlan, Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network) after posting a 27-22 victory at Miami, while the Zips (1-6, 0-3) dropped a 28-14 decision at Syracuse.

NIU's win over the RedHawks was a key victory for several reasons. It obviously keeps the Huskies alive in their chase for the MAC West championship, but it was the last game before a stretch of three straight home games.

"We're looking forward to playing again and getting back at home and playing three straight home games," NIU head coach Jerry Kill said. "I believe our youngsters will be too."

"It's an opportunity, and one that we need to take advantage of," linebacker Alex Kube said. "I've been on the other end when we had to be away for three games in a row and that's tough. It's hard, especially in this conference, to play away. We have to take advantage of it, and I think the fans will help us out to make it a hostile environment. For three weeks, we just need to go out there and play football."

After Akron, the Huskies will face Eastern Michigan Nov. 5 and Ball State Nov. 12. While the Huskies know this is an important stretch of games, they are not looking past the Zips.

"Offensively, they're a football team that's throwing the football around quite a bit," Kill said. "They've got two guys that have been head coaches on the offensive side of the ball. They have plenty of knowledge on offense.

"Defensively, they're an eight-man front. They're very similar to what we've seen defensively against Miami, maybe some subtle differences, but fairly the same. They have very good skill players on both sides of the ball."

Kill knows Akron is solid on both sides of the ball, but he also feels the Zips are very effective on special teams, especially in the return game. Dashan Miller, the reigning MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week, is the second-leading kick returner in the MAC, averaging 26.7 yards a return and broke one for a 98-yard touchdown return last week against Syracuse.

"They're one of the top kickoff return teams," Kill said. "They have some skill players back there that can return kicks. They have good skill. Any time you have good skill, you have a chance to be productive."

The Huskies rank third in the MAC in kickoff returns, right behind Akron at No. 2, but are ahead of the Zips in the punt return game. The Huskies have the third-leading punt return team and the Zips sit at No. 7. Freshman Tommy Davis has done an excellent job for NIU returning punts. He's fourth in the league and 40th in the nation in punt returns, averaging 8.45 yards a return and had a career long 42-yard punt return against Miami.

"Going into the season, we've had a lot of emphasis on getting special teams going, because that's a big part of the game," Davis said. "Offense and defense are important, but special teams changes field position. That's just as important as everything else. It was a big emphasis coming in, to be able to make some plays on those teams to be able to give our offense a chance with some good field position and to move the ball, which they've been doing really well."


REACTION TO MAC BASKETBALL PROGNOSTICATIONS

By Brett McWethy | Updated at 2:05 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

John Sahly from the DeKalb Daily Chronicle and HuskieWire.com was at men's basketball practice Wednesday, and caught up with head coach Ricardo Patton about the second-place pick in the MAC-West by the league's media. He also includes some comments by MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher about the league's vision for basketball, both on the men's and women's side. The Rockford Register Star was encouraged by the release of the Mid-American Conference's preseason media poll and is looking forward to the upcoming season  


BLOODIED, BATTERED, BUT VICTORIOUS

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:04 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/niu/graphics/auto/karstenblood.jpg

NIU soccer captain Josh Karsten displays a brutal cut suffered during the Huskies' 1-0 over Wisconsin.

No one said it was going to be easy to go into Madison and take a win from Wisconsin, the number one team in the Big Ten. The Huskies did it last night, and I snapped this shot of a wicked cut on defender Josh Karsten's head as proof of just how hard it was.


THE MASTER OF DEFENSE

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:37 am on Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thanks to Kevin Chroust of the Kane County Chronicle for this feature on Northern Illinois libero Maddie Hughes, who has been named the MAC-West Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.  Hughes leads the league in digs this season, and has spearheaded the Huskies' defensive effort.  


TV SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY'S GAME VERSUS AKRON

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:27 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

From city-to-city, state-to-state!  As part of the Mid-American Conference Syndicated Football Package, the Huskies will be able to be seen in nine states Saturday in their game versus Akron.

Affiliates are as follows: WPWR (Ill.), WMYD (Mich.), WEWS (Ohio), WTTV (Ind.), WKRC-DT2 (Ohio), WWHO (Ohio), WDJT (Wis.), EHP (Pa.), WZZM (Mich.), WNYO (N.Y.), WSAZ-DT (W. Va.), WKEF (Ohio), WDRL (Ind.), WSMH (Mich.), WTVG (Ohio), WISC-DT (Wis.), WMYS (Ind.), WYTV (Ohio), WHTV (Mich.), KQEG (Wis.), WTVO-DT2 (Ill.) and WTOV-DT (W. Va.).

 
The game will also be available for purchase on ESPNPlus/Game Plan -- of course, all of these options are ONLY for if you can't make it to the game!


IT'S A BLOGGING WORLD

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:02 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As promised on "Huskie Happenings" earlier this week, we bring you the newest blogger among Northern Illlinois student-athletes.  Colorado transfer Xavier Silas has his first blog entry for the Chicago Tribune's "Players Only" section now posted on the Trib's website.  

Make sure to check it out ... "X" tells some great stories about growing up as the son of a successful professional basketball player, as well as some interesting notables surrounding the upcoming season.  We'll bring you every entry as they become available!


SATURDAY'S SLATE

By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:30 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday is an exciting day on the Northern Illinois University campus. The action starts early when the NIU football team takes on the Akron Zips at Huskie Stadium. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. Saturday is Community College Day at NIU. All students, faculty and staff from area community colleges presenting their school IDs will receive $1 admission into the football game. It's a perfect opportunity for future Northern Illinois University students to get a taste of the exciting atmosphere that is Huskie Football Gameday!


After the football game, fans should wander over to the Convocation Center for the Huskie Halloween Bash. Men's and women's basketball players will be there passing at candy and conducting a variety of games on the track level of the Convo. The event, which starts at 4 p.m. and runs to 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.


The fun continues at 7 p.m. when the NIU volleyball team plays host to Ball State at Victor E. Court. All fans showing up wearing a Halloween costume will receive free admission, while fans presenting their ticket stub from the football game get in for $1.


GRADING GRADY

By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:02 pm on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

After a second look at the game film from NIU's victory over Miami Saturday, NIU head coach Jerry Kill felt DeMarcus Grady improved as the game went on in his first start of the season. Grady's teammate, Chad Spann, agreed as he told John Sahly during yesterday's Mid-American Conference weekly conference call. Sahly has a recap of the call in his story today.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:39 pm on Monday, October 26, 2009

I just bumped into NIU wrestling head coach Dave Grant in the Convocation Center and he wanted me to remind everyone that the Huskies' Annual Wrestle-Offs will take place Friday, Nov. 6 in Victor E. Court at the Convo. The action starts at 7 p.m. We'll have a full release on the event including match ups later this week.


RECAPPING THE WIN IN OXFORD

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:50 pm on Monday, October 26, 2009

As you all know by now, the Northern Illinois football team picked up an important, short-handed road win at Miami (Ohio) University Saturday.  We've got you covered from all angles on the media's reaction.  Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune had this game story, with some interesting quotes from head coach Jerry Kill about overcoming adversity throughout a season.

The DeKalb Daily Chronicle staff was in attendance, and provided some interesting angles.  Read here about the importance or Perez Ashford's punt return for a touchdown; check out this Q&A with Landon Cox and read how quarterback DeMarcus Grady continues to stay ready when and if his number is called behind center.   


NIU HOOPS IN THE WINDY CITY MEDIA THIS WEEK

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:25 pm on Monday, October 26, 2009

College hoops season is quickly approaching, and the Huskie men's basketball team's presence in the Chicago media market is heating up.  Head coach Ricardo Patton will start things off by appearing on Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago Tuesday -- the show begins at 5:30 p.m.  Also, be on the lookout for Xavier Silas' blog in the Chicago Tribune "Players Only" section.  We'll keep you posted on what that runs -- hopefully sometime this week.  


BE A PART OF INSIDE HUSKIE SPORTS

By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:53 am on Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't forget to head over to Fatty's Pub and Grille at 5:30 p.m. tonight for the taping of this week's edition of Inside Huskie Sports. NIU head football coach Jerry Kill will join host Brad Hoey and review Saturday's win over Miami and preview the Huskies' upcoming game with Akron.


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!

 

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