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DEKALB, Ill. -- On the second day of fall camp the Northern Illinois football team held its annual Media/Photo Day prior to a late afternoon practice on a warm, cloudless day on the turf at Huskie Stadium.
NIU head coach Dave Doeren addressed the assembled media at the Barsema Alumni and Visitor's Center, followed by an opportunity for the media to visit with players at Huskie Stadium. The early afternoon also included a variety of photos for the Huskies as the players took individual shots, as well as position group photos, a senior photo and the full team photo in the East stands of Huskie Stadium.
During his chat with the media, Coach Doeren emphasized that while the Huskies enter the season as defending MAC champions, that title means little for the 2012 season.
"It's a new season, it's a new year," said Doeren. "We have to re-prove ourselves. Saying that you're the defending MAC champs is an honor, and we're excited to be in that position. We know that with that position comes the best shot we can get from every team we play. We won't sneak up on people, we realize that. We have to be at our best all the time. We look forward to being in that position. I'd much rather be a defending champ than be at the bottom of the ladder looking up. That's something we've earned. It was a great year, but I'm excited about the team I have now."
With the media and photo responsibilities behind them, the Huskies returned to work with their second practice of camp, still in shorts and helmets, in the late afternoon. The team will be in shells, shoulder pads and helmets, beginning tomorrow before full-pad practices start on Friday. Coach Doeren expressed the importance of putting in the work each day in order for the team to achieve its goals.
"We talked a lot as a team here the last couple days, and I think the best way I can tell you how we're approaching this season is -- there's a quote I keep in my office, `Success isn't owned, it's rented. And the rent is due every day.' That's kind of our philosophy on where we're at. Last year we didn't panic when we were at 2-3, we just kept playing. And that's where we are now."
NIU returns to the practice field tomorrow at 3:15 p.m., as they take one more step toward the season-opener with Iowa on Sept. 1 in Soldier Field Showdown III.
Tickets for that contest are on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster, as well as the NIU Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling the Ticketmaster toll-free number at 1-800-745-3000, or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet. The NIU Athletics Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Northern Illinois 2012 football season tickets are on sale now through the NIU Athletics External Office at 815-753-1923 or online at NIUHuskies.com for just $120 for the full six-game Huskie Stadium season. Mini plans, featuring any three Huskie Stadium games, can be purchased for $60, while NIU's new HuskieLand Plan tickets provide a ticket to the home opener versus Tennessee-Martin (Sept. 8), the Kansas game (Sept. 22) and the MAC West rivalry game versus Toledo (Nov. 14) along with $45 in gift cards from Buffalo Wild Wings, Village Commons Bookstore and HyVee.