Aug. 9, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University football team donned full pads for the first time this preseason and turned in a solid two-hour workout under ideal conditions at Huskie Stadium Friday.
A day before the first two-a-day practice of camp, there wasn't a lot of contact through much of practice, but it was still an up-tempo practice. The coaching staff focused more on teaching technique to their players.
"We're still teaching," said NIU head coach Rod Carey. "Just because you have the pads on, doesn't mean you go crazy, lose your technique and go out there and just hit somebody. You have to put it all together and teach."
Things picked up in the final periods during the team portion of practice. The Huskie offense struck first taking advantage of some confusion on the NIU defense as Tommylee Lewis took a flare pass 75 yards for a touchdown. The defense responded, forcing a three an out and a turnover.
"I was really happy with the way they responded," he said of the defense. "They didn't start out good, but they responded well."
The NIU defense came up big again with a stop in the red zone on the offense's fourth possession. Quarterback Jordan Lynch and the NIU offense finished practice strong, marching 75 yards down the field, capping off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Luke Eakes.
"We expect that on both sides," Carey said. "There's always going to be give and take. If I talk about one side of the ball, I'm never completely happy. The same with the other [side of the ball]. I like the give and take."
Running back Cameron Stingily, who started his career at NIU at linebacker before making the switch to the offensive backfield, has had a solid start in this first week of camp. Aside from a fumble in the third drive of the team period, he impressed with his pass catching out of the backfield.
"He's catching the ball better right now than he did in the spring," Carey said. "He's having a good five days. Let's put six, seven in there."
NIU returns to the practice field Saturday with two practices scheduled for tomorrow. The Huskies will practice at 10 a.m. at Huskie Stadium before returning to the practice field at 7:45 p.m. for an evening scrimmage. NIUHuskies.com is your source for everything NIU Football throughout preseason camp. From position previews, videos and social media, Huskie fans can keep up on everything happening at camp on NIUHuskies.com.
Home Sweet Home: The Bleacher Report ranked Huskie Stadium as the toughest place for an opposing team to come away with a victory today. The ranking was based on the home records of every FBS team over the past four years (2009-12). NIU has won a nation's best 21-straight games at Huskie Stadium, dating back to 2009. The last NIU loss at home came Sept. 26, 2009 to Idaho. Neutral site venues were not taken into account.
The Huskies' home opener against Eastern Illinois is set for Sept. 21st. Season and single game tickets for Northern Illinois' 2013 home schedule are on sale now. The new Huskieland Plan, which includes a ticket to all five home games (sections A and G) and $50 in Doggie Dollars good for parking and/or concessions, is just $50. All remaining season ticket locations for the 2013 Huskie Stadium home slate are just $100 while NIU Alumni Association members, senior citizens (62+), youth (3-13), NIU Varsity Club (former letterwinners) members and faculty and staff can see every game for just $88. Season tickets are available by calling NIU Athletics at 815-753-PACK (7225), or go online to www.NIUHuskies.com/tickets for complete information and order forms.
Single game tickets are priced at just $15 for seating in the upper rows of sections A and G in Huskie Stadium, while seats in sections B, F and lower A and G are $24 for the general public and $18 for senior citizens (ages 62 and over) and youth (ages 3-13). Seats in section C, D and E, as well as seats on the East Side, are just $30 for the general public and $20 for senior citizens and youth. Single game tickets for the five-game home schedule can be purchased through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center, online via Ticketmaster and NIUHuskies.com and on the phone by calling 815-753-PACK.