Northern Illinois graduate student and Huskie Media
Relations graduate assistant Michael Benson returns to ESPN UNITE: The Schwab
Wednesday at 11 p.m. CT to take part in the semi-final round.
Benson will take on Mississippi's Ryan Smith, the
Southeastern Conference's winner, and Penn State's Daniel Smith, the champion
from the Big Ten. The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Bristol,
Conn., for the finals at ESPN's headquarters.
"The semi-finals should be quite a challenge,"
Benson said. "It was nice to get out of the first round with a win, but now the
questions and the competition will be better. I've been doing what I can to
prepare, but it ultimately comes down to getting questions that fit your
The sport management major clinched a berth in the
semi-finals April 10 by winning the Mid-American Conference title over students
from Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Benson got four points out of the
first round, which asked the contestants to name the top 15 NFL career leaders
in rushing yards. After stumbling on the pop culture question, he all but
clinched the win by scoring five points in the college sports round question
that asked contestants to name the members of the Pac-12 Conference.
"I really struggled in the pop culture and social
media rounds the first time out," Benson said. "If I have any chance of moving
on to the finals, I'll have to do considerably better in both of those
The winner from the third semi-final will take on
Michael Smith of Utah and Taylor Smith of Maryland.