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Results tagged “2011 NIU Football” from NIU Huskies

NIU-TOLEDO REPLAY ON ESPNU TONIGHT

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Toledo Celebration.jpgHuskie fans can relive Northern Illinois' exciting 63-60 victory over Toledo tonight at 8:30 p.m. Central Time on ESPNU. ESPNU is counting down the Top 25 college football games of 2011 and NIU's  shootout with the Rockets comes in at No. 19 on the countdown.

Tommylee Lewis set the tone for the evening when he ran the opening kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown. After the Rockets tied the contest at 7-7, Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a score.

WHO'S COUNTING

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Tommylee Lewis return.jpgSeveral media outlets are starting to compile their Top 10 or in some cases Top 100 games/moments of the 2011 season and Northern Illinois makes a few of them. Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com posted her Top 10 non-AQ moments of 2011 and the Huskies' 63-60 victory over Toledo checked in at No. 9. 

The website sbnation.com delved even deeper by compiling a list of the Top 100 games of 2011. Three of the Huskies' contests have a place on the list. NIU's shootout with Kansas comes in at No. 93, while the Huskies' incredible comeback over Ohio in the 2011 MAC Championship. The Toledo game cracked the Top 10, ranking eighth.

FEATURES, FEATURES AND MORE FEATURES

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Dave-Doeren-8.jpgThere were a slew of features on NIU players and coaches posted the last two weeks. Enjoy!

Dave Doeren
ESPNChicago.com, Doeren's first season at NIU a big success

Matt Canada
Rockford Register Star, New boss same as old boss for NIU offense

Jimmie Ward
Daily Chronicle, Home sweet home for Ward

Jordan Delegal
Daily Chronicle, Conversion complete for NIU linebacker

Pat Schiller
Press Register, Northern Illinois' Pat Schiller stepped up big at linebacker

Sean Evans
Northwest Florida Daily News, Former FWB standout Evans enjoys 'homecoming' with NIU

Community service visit in Mobile
Fox TV, Huskies talk to troubled juveniles

Bowl feature
ESPNChicago.com, Huskies hope bowl wait is worth it

RETURN OF THE MAC

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2011 was a great year for football schools of the Mid-American Conference. The league went a nation's best 4-1 in bowl games this season, tying with Conference USA. Northern Illinois' 38-20 victory over Arkansas State clinched the top spot for the MAC and the conference went a perfect 4-0 versus other Non-AQ leagues (2-0 vs Mountain West, 1-0 vs. Western Athletic and 1-0 vs. Sun Belt). Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com gave the league some props in her blog post, while Paul Myerberg ranked the MAC ahead of the WAC and Sun Belt.

UNSUNG UNIT

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Olson-Trevor-1.jpgWhile Chandler Harnish garners much of the praise, and rightfully so, for the success the Huskies have enjoyed on offense this season, one unit toils in anonymity. The Huskie offense line is the backbone of the offensive unit and, at the end of the season, they were getting their due. Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star had this feature story and accompanying blog post on the Huskie front five.

Josh Bean of the Mobile Press-Register also filed a feature story on the O-line as well when he was covering the Huskies during bowl week. Rick Armstrong of the Sun-Times, who was down in Mobile covering the Huskies, wrote this feature on left tackle Trevor Olson.

TOP 25 TALK

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End of Practice.jpgFollowing NIU's bowl victory there was the hope the Huskies could crack the Top 25 in either the Coaches or Associated Press Poll.  The Chicago Tribune, Daily Chronicle and Beacon News all had stories laying out NIU's case for a spot in the polls. However, the Huskies were left out, finishing 26th in the Coaches Poll and 28th in the AP Poll. The Huskies did crack one poll.

Paul Myerberg of presnapread.com ranked the Huskies 24th, just behind Florida State and ahead of Nebraska in his season ending poll. Myerberg had the Huskies ranked 59th in the nation in his preseason poll behind fellow Mid-American Conference foes Ohio (52) and Toledo (56).

PHIL STEELE'S ALL-MAC TEAM ANNOUNCED

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Pat Schiller Blitzes for a sack.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team saw 12 Huskies named to Phil Steele's 2011 Postseason All-MAC Team. NIU had four first teamers, three on offense and one special teams. 2011 Vern Smith Award winner Chandler Harnish, center Scott Wedige, left tackle Trevor Olson and kick returner Tommylee Lewis earned first team honors.

Running back Jasmin Hopkins, defensive linemen Sean Progar and Ron Newcomb, linebacker Pat Schiller and kicker Mathew Sims were all second-team honorees. Northern Illinois also had three third-team selections; wide receiver Nathan Palmer, offensive lineman Joe Pawlak and defensive back Jimmie Ward.

NIU had nine All-MAC selections as voted on by the league's coaches. Eight of the 12 Huskies on Phil Steele's All-MAC team garnered accolades from league coaches. Lewis, Newcomb, Pawlak and Schiller were earning All-MAC honors for the first time this season.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

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Doeren 5.jpgIt has been just over since Dave Doeren was announced as Northern Illinois University's 21st head football coach. What a difference a year makes. Doeren has led NIU to its first Mid-American Conference championship since 1983 and a berth in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle visited with Doeren after yesterday's practice to get his thought's on his first season as a head coach in this Q&A.

GOOD ADVICE FROM DODD

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Harnish-Chandler-2010-002.jpgThe Huskies appearance in the GoDaddy.com Bowl continues to get positive reviews. While the bowl itself was ranked No. 33 out of 35 by CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd, he did tell fans across the nation that that this would be the last time they could see NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish.

REPS. HULTGREN, JOHNSON HONOR MAC CHAMPION HUSKIES

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Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) jointly congratulated the Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois Huskies this week on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives after their 23-20 win over the Ohio Bobcats in Friday's Marathon MAC Championship in Detroit.

Hultgren, whose district includes NIU, won a friendly wager with Johnson, who represents the district that includes Ohio University, over whose school would win the conference title game. As a result of the Huskie victory, the congressman from the losing district was required to give a speech on the House floor congratulating the team while holding the winning team's helmet.



WEDIGE HONORED

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KU-Line of Scrimmage.jpgVarious organizations and media outlets are starting to release their All-America teams. As expected, most of them are littered with big names from big schools. CBSSports.com thought pretty highly of NIU's Scott Wedige, naming the senior center second-team All-American. Wedige is the only Mid-American Conference player on either first or second team. The CBSSports.com All-America Teams were selected by the staff, writers and bloggers.

Wedige is the first Huskie to be named to an All-America team since Larry English in 2008. English was a third team selection by Phil Steele and an honorable mention by Pro Football Weekly.

BOWL BREAKDOWNS

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GoDaddy.jpgMatt Hinton of Yahoo! Sports gave this break down of some of the best and worst bowl match ups. The GoDaddy.com Bowl got some love as one of the best bowl games on the slate this year.

PREVIEWING THE MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

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Football team taking the field.jpgWith the 2011 MAC Championship game just two days and eight hours away, here are a pair of preview stories to take in to get you set for the game.

Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune talks about the disappointing end for the Huskies' in the 2010 game and how NIU is looking to avenge last year's loss in this story. Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star Ohio in this story found in today's paper.

IT STARTS UP FRONT

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KU-Line of Scrimmage.jpgNIU's offensive line has helped the Huskies put up some incredible numbers this season. Northern Illinois is averaging over 40 points and 500 yards of total offense a game. A number that's even more impressive than those figures are the number of sacks the NIU offensive line has given up this season. As Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle writes, the Huskies are on pace to surrender less than 10 sacks this season.

HARNSIH EARNS HELMET STICKER

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Chandler Harnish passing.jpgNIU quarterback Chandler Harnish was recognized by Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com in her Non-AQ Weekend Rewind column. The senior signal caller earned a helmet sticker for his record-setting performance against Ball State Tuesday night.

Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois. Harnish broke the school record for total offense with 519 total yards in a 31-28 win over Ball State on Tuesday night. His 519 total yards is tied for third most by any player in FBS this season. Harnish passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 181 yards and a touchdown.

Harnish and the Huskies play host to Eastern Michigan Friday at 10 a.m. in search of a MAC West title and a return trip to Detroit. Friday is also Senior Day for Harnish and 18 other Huskie seniors.

BACK IN THE POLLS

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NIU Football Team Running Out.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team received 10 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll released yesterday. It's the most points in the poll for NIU since Week 2 when the Huskies had 13 points in the poll. NIU is in the midst of a six-game winning streak and plays host to Eastern Michigan Friday at 10 a.m. at Huskie Stadium.

HUSKIE GAMEDAY

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Bronze-Stalk.jpgIt's gameday here at Northern Illinois University as the Huskies face off against Ball State in a battle for the "Bronze Stalk." Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight on ESPNU. Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune breaks down the match up in his preview story in today's paper, while Lacy Banks of the Sun-Times talks about the incredible season Chandler Harnish is having in his piece. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle profiles former Ball State assistant coach and Muncie native Eddie Faulkner on facing his old school in this story.

RECAPPING THE BOWLING GREEN GAME

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Bowling Green TD Celebration.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team won its fifth-straight and third straight road game as the Huskies posted a 45-14 victory over Bowling Green Tuesday night. Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times was at the game and filed this report. The Daily Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune also had recaps of the game as well. Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com posted this story right after the game, complete with highlights from the Worldwide Leader in sports. ESPN's coverage continued with its analysis posting this video from commentators Ray Bentley and Mark Neely after the game.
 


PREVIEWING TONIGHT'S GAME WITH FALCONS

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Football Team.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team is back in northeast Ohio this week. This time, the Huskies face Mid-American Conference East foe Bowling Green tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. NIU edged out the Falcons, 16-13, when the two met at Huskie Stadium in 2008. Below are a few preview stories to get you prepped for tonight's game.

Chicago Tribune: Team controls its own destiny

Daily Chronicle: Huskies say they're not looking past Falcons

Sun-Times: Northern Illinois defense needs to give offense a break

Rockford Register Star: NIU faces final road test tonight at Bowling Green


LEADER OF THE PACK

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Chandler Harnish rushing 1.jpgThere is a great story in the Rockford Register Star today by Matt Trowbridge on Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish. A first team All-MAC selection in 2010, Harnish has been the face of NIU football for the last two seasons and he is looking to close out his final campaign with a MAC championship. Be sure to check it out.

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