Oct. 10, 2011
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois senior defensive tackle Ron Newcomb has been honored as the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week after a dominant performance Saturday in NIU's 40-10 victory over Kent State at Huskie Stadium.
The honor is the first MAC weekly award for Newcomb, a Wheatfield, Ind. product who attended Chicago's Mt. Carmel High School, and the first for a Huskie defender this year. The 6-3, 279-pound defensive tackle was unstoppable versus the Golden Flashes as he tallied two-and-a-half quarterback sacks for losses totaling 20 yards, and 4.5 tackles for loss for minus 24 yards. His career-best nine tackles, including five solo stops, led the team.
On Kent State's first drive, Newcomb pressured KSU quarterback Spencer Keith into throwing an interception that Nabal Jefferson returned for the Huskies' first score of the game. Newcomb also forced one of four Kent State fumbles on the day and capped his day by blocking a 45-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.
Newcomb, who came into the game with six CAREER tackles for loss and one career sack, had never had more than one-and-a-half tackles for loss in any single game in his four-year career.
He was a key cog in a Huskie defensive effort that held Kent State to just one rushing yard on 38 carries, thanks in large part to eight quarterback sacks. The Flashes had just 64 total yards in Saturday's NIU victory. The defense did not give up a touchdown (KSU scored on a fumble return) and held Kent State to a 1-of-16 mark on third down conversions.
Newcomb is the Huskies' second NIU player to be honored with the MAC weekly award this year. Quarterback Chandler Harnish was named the MAC West Offensive Player of the Week following the Army game on Sept. 3.
Northern Illinois faces one of its toughest league tests of the season this Saturday as Western Michigan visits Huskie Stadium for a key MAC West match-up. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. as Northern Illinois celebrates Homecoming. The game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Tickets are available for $25 online at www.NIUHuskies.com/tickets, or by calling the NIU Athletics Ticket Office at 815-752-6800. Tickets can also be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000, or at the stadium on game day.
NOTE: Due to an error in the way a penalty was recorded in the third quarter on Saturday, the stats from the NIU-Kent State game have been corrected to reflect Newcomb's six-yard sack and a 15-yard DEAD BALL penalty (post-play). Newcomb is thus credited with 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and nine total stops in the game, while the team totals for Kent State are 1 net rushing yard on 38 carries and 64 yards of total offense on 62 carries.
-- NIU -
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