Aug. 5, 2010
DeKalb Media Day Quotes
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois hit the practice field at Huskie Stadium for the first time Thursday, working out for a little over two hours in shorts and helmets on a perfect afternoon in DeKalb. NIU third-year head coach Jerry Kill and his staff kept practice moving at a quick pace throughout practice.
"I think we got a lot accomplished," Kill said. "We set up practice well, nobody stood around, and everybody was working and getting reps. We'll know a lot more after we watch the film."
Kill and his staff were excited to get on the field with the 2010 team for the first time and were impressed with the "want to" of both the returning players and the newcomers.
"As far as the attitude, everyone was excited to be here, and they're trying to do the right thing," Kill said. "For the first day of practice, I've got to compliment the younger kids. They got thrown into it and responded pretty well."
Northern Illinois has 32 newcomers in preseason camp and Kill has said he expects several freshmen to have an opportunity to contribute immediately, especially at linebacker and potentially on the offensive line.
Earlier in the day, Kill and Huskie players met the media at the Yordon Center in DeKalb and Kill was asked to identify the strength of the 2010 team.
"I think we can be a great team on defense," he said. "I know they are going to play well. They are very well-coached and they have a great amount of pride. The last two years we have led the conference in defense, yet we still do not have a player on the [preseason] all-conference team. So I think those kids on defense are fired up about playing and I think they have a chance at being better than they were a year ago."
Kill said while the offensive line must replace two long-time starters, going up against the NIU defensive line will help the group to improve and get ready for the season.
"Offensively there have been questions on the offensive line but we have some guys who have waited their turn and I am sure they will step up and play well," he said. "We will see how they come along but that is what two-a-day camp is for. Once they start hooking up with our defense line for the next three weeks, some of them boys when we started will end up being men once the defensive line is through with them. Our defensive line is good and they will make us a better football team."
Northern Illinois returns to the practice field Friday afternoon with another session in shorts and helmets. The Huskies open the 2010 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 2 with a 7 p.m. contest at Iowa State. The game will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net, and can be seen in the Chicagoland area on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Northern Illinois opens its five-game home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 11 versus North Dakota at Huskie Stadium with kickoff set for 6 p.m. (Central).
Individual game tickets for the North Dakota game as well as home contests versus MAC foes Temple (Oct. 9), Central Michigan (Oct. 23) and Toledo (Nov. 9) are $20 each for the general public, while tickets for the Oct. 16 Homecoming game versus Buffalo are $25. Senior citizens (62 and older), youth (8th grade and under) and student guest tickets for Homecoming are $20 each and are priced at $15 each for the remaining five home contests.
Season tickets for Northern Illinois' 2010 home games are one of the region's best values at just $85 for all five games. NIU faculty and staff, Varsity Club (former letterwinners), NIU Alumni Association members and senior citizens can purchase season tickets for only $74. The three-game mini-plan allows fans to choose any three 2010 games, including Homecoming, and get the same reserved seat for all three games for just $50.
Tickets can be ordered online at www.NIUHuskies.com (click the "Tickets" link on the top of the page), on the phone at 815-752-6800 or in person at the NIU Convocation Center Ticket Office in DeKalb.
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