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Doeren 7.jpgComing off of an 11-3 record in his inaugural season, Northern Illinois football head coach Dave Doeren was listed as one of's Breakout Coaches of 2012 for his second season.

The list of 11 coaches features fellow head coaches Sonny Dykes (Louisiana Tech), Charlie Strong (Louisville), Mario Cristobal (Florida International), Dave Christensen (Wyoming) and Mike MacIntyre (San Jose State), along with coordinators Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State), Kirby Smart (Alabama), Chad Morris (Clemson), Manny Diaz (Texas) and Todd Grantham (Georgia).

Here's what Bruce Feldman had to say about Doeren:

"Bret Bielema's former assistant produced an 11-win season in his first year as a head coach and comes into the season with the longest win streak in FBS at nine games. If the Huskies -- breaking in a new QB -- can knock off Iowa (a 10-point favorite) in Chicago in the opener, Doeren's stock will soar and they could be in line to make a Top 25 run."


The NFL preseason capped off its third week this weekend with several former Huskies making good impressions before Friday's final roster cutdown.

QB Chandler Harnish - Indianapolis Colts
Harnish played the entire second half Saturday afternoon in the Indianapolis Colts' 30-17 loss against the Washington Redskins, finishing the day 12-of-19 passing for 147 yards. Among the 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award recipient's highlights were a 59-yard completion to Jeremy Ross that set up one touchdown, along with directing a second scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter. Through three games, Harnish is 18-of-31 passing for 244 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

LB Larry English - San Diego Chargers
English recorded his best game yet of the 2012 preseason, posting two sacks along with two additional tackles in the San Diego Chargers' 12-10 win against the Minnesota Vikings. With Minnesota driving inside Charger territory late in the first quarter, English got into the backfield and sacked Christian Ponder for a 10-yard loss to knock the Vikings out of field goal territory. His next sack of Ponder came with less than two minutes left in the first half and Minnesota with a first and goal at the 10-yard line. The six-yard loss eventually resulted in the Vikings settling for a field goal.

RB Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons
Turner played a big part in the Atlanta Falcons' 23-6 win against the Miami Dolphins Friday, posting 10 carries for 35 yards and three catches for 36 yards. His two biggest plays came on receptions, as a 20-yard reception helped set up Atlanta's first points of the game, while a 11-yard catch in the second quarter resulted in another field goal that proved to be the deciding points of the game.

OL Doug Free - Dallas Cowboys
Free started on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys in their 20-19 win against the St. Louis Rams. The former NIU lineman helped pave the way for a resurgent Cowboy offense, as all 20 of the team's points came in the first half.

DB Tracy Wilson - Tennessee Titans
Wilson got playing time on defense and special teams in Tennessee's 32-27 win against Arizona, recording two tackles in the fourth quarter.

WR Nathan Palmer - San Francisco 49ers
Palmer got on the field in the San Francisco 49ers' 29-24 win against the Denver Broncos. Yet, he did not record any stats.

C Scott Wedige - Arizona Cardinals
Wedige got in on special teams during the Cardinals' 32-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans. However, he did not record any stats on the evening.

LB Pat Schiller - Atlanta Falcons
Schiller got on the field for a handful of plays in the Atlanta Falcons' 23-6 win against the Miami Dolphins. The former Huskie, though, did not record any stats.

WR Landon Cox - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cox saw playing time on offense and on special teams in Tampa Bay's 30-28 win against the New England Patriots Friday, but did not get any passes thrown his way.

NOTE: Fullback Cameron Bell was released Monday by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of roster reductions. Teams were required to have a 75-man active roster by Monday at 3 p.m. CT

The final week of the preseason will feature one nationally-televised game with an NIU alum, as Scott Wedige looks to secure a roster spot Thursday night when the Arizona Cardinals host the Denver Broncos at 10 p.m. on NFL Network.

For the full Week Four schedule, click here.


Harnish-Chandler-CMU.jpgThe Northern Illinois football program's propensity to develop 1,000-yard rushers was noticed by Yahoo! Sports today.  Since 2000 in the FBS, only Nevada has produced more 1,000-yard rushers (12) than NIU (11).  Wisconsin also has 11.  Only seven total FBS schools have churned out 10 or more 1,000-yard rushers since the turn of the century.  The impressive list of Huskies to reach 1,000 yards in a season is as follows:

2011 -- Chandler Harnish (1,379 yards, 98.5 yards/game, 7.1 yards/rush, 11 TD)

2010 -- Chad Spann (1,388 yards, 99.1 yards/game, 5.4 yards/rush, 22 TD)

2009 -- Chad Spann (1,038 yards, 79.8 yards/game, 5.8 yards/rush, 19 TD)

2007 -- Justin Anderson (1,245 yards, 103.8 yards/game, 4.5 yards/rush, 8 TD)

2006 -- Garrett Wolfe (1,928 yards, 148.3 yards/game, 6.2 yards/rush, 18 TD)

2005 -- Garrett Wolfe (1,580 yards, 175.6 yards/game, 6.5 yards/rush, 16 TD)

2004 -- Garrett Wolfe (1,656 yards, 150.5 yards/game, 6.5 yards/rush, 18 TD)

2003 -- Michael Turner (1,648 yards, 137.3 yards/game, 5.3 yards/rush, 14 TD)

2002 -- Michael Turner (1,915 yards, 159.5 yards/game, 5.7 yards/rush, 19 TD)

2001 -- Thomas Hammock (1,096 yards, 99.6 yards/game, 4.1 yards/rush, 7 TD)

2000 -- Thomas Hammock (1,083 yards, 120.3 yards/game, 5.8 yards/rush, 16 TD)


With Northern Illinois 2011 football season opener on Sept. 3 versus Army just a little more than a week away, the Huskies have finalized the promotions surrounding the first home opener at Huskie Stadium since 2003.

All fans are being encouraged to wear their Huskie Red as the game is the "Red Sea" promotion as NIU looks to "swamp" the Black Knights of Army (who have sold out of their allotment of tickets for this game, by the way).  To help the cause, Northern Illinois will pass out red "We Are Huskies" T-shirts to fans on both the East and West sides of the stadium. In addition, the Thunderstix (yes, they are back) color of the day is red.

As usual, the home opening game has been designated as Biz-Ag Day and the FanFest area on the West Side of the stadium will include a pre-game petting zoo and tractors on display, courtesy of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. 

Fans will want to leave the tailgate areas and get to their seats in time to see the coin toss versus Army as Marine Corps veteran and former Northern Illinois defensive end Jake Coffman will be on hand as part of the Wounded Warrior Project.  Be in the stadium early to welcome Jake back to Huskie Stadium!

Finally, at the conclusion of the game, stick around for FIREWORKS!  What a great way to help celebrate Labor Day weekend and a Huskie victory!

Tickets to the Army game, as well as all single games for the 2011 season, are on sale now.  Click on the Buy Tickets button on or at

Don't miss one of the most exciting games of the season - the 2011 Huskie football season opener on September 3.  Kickoff is at 6 p.m., don't be late!

YC - Fireworks.jpg


Former Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson was signed to a free agent contract by the New York Jets Wednesday, the team announced.  Wilson, who graduated from NIU in December and elected to skip his senior season at NIU, had entered his name in the supplemental draft but was not selected.  Shortly after that, Wilson was signed by the Jets.

Wilson played in just eight games for Northern Illinois last year and made 35 tackles with two fumble recoveries, an interception and half a tackle for loss.  He was injured early in the year versus Illinois and despite returning to action later in the year, did not play at 100 percent.

Wilson was the fourth free agent signing off the 2010 Huskie team.  Tailback Chad Spann remains on the Indianapolis Colts' preseason roster while cornerback Chris Smith and wide receiver Landon Cox were released by the Rams and Bengals, respectively.

Huskie All-Access Has NIU Football Position Previews!

Now is a great time to sign up for Huskie All-Access as's yearly NIU football position-by-position previews are available over the next two weeks.  Yesterday, the offensive line preview video went live and tomorrow the defensive backs preview will be available. 

Users can sign up for monthly and yearly packages that include access to live-streamed and archived events, such as men's and women's basketball games, men's and women's soccer matches, volleyball matches, wrestling matches, and gymnastics meets.  Users will also be able to view feature videos, highlights, and more.  
Yahoo-FB-Preview-Screen-shot.jpgA yearly staple of Yahoo Sports!/'s college football coverage, the 13th annual Preseason Top 120 Countdown is well under way.  With this week's release of teams ranked No. 56-60, the Huskies check in at No. 57, which is tops among all 13 Mid-American Conference teams and is ahead of 23 BCS teams.  To read Tom Dienhart's preview for the 2011 NIU football squad, click here.
Dale Berman, who played tackle for NIU from 1958-59, will be inducted into the Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday in Canton, Ohio.  Well-known for being the mayor of North Aurora, the 77-year-old Berman was named to NIU's All-Century team in 1999 and was a two-time all-conference selection for the Huskies. 

Berman enters the famed Hall for his contributions to the Tri-State Professional League's Aurora Clippers and Elmhurst Travelers, where he was an all-star selection.  To find out more about Berman's story, click here to read Denise Crosby's article in The Beacon-News that ran yesterday.


Although former Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann and several other 2010 Huskie seniors will have to wait for free agency to determine their professional football futures, last week's National Football League Draft did have several NIU ties.

Five players from NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren's former school - Wisconsin - were selected, including defensive end J.J. Watt.  Watt was chosen by the Houston Texans with the 11th overall pick in the draft.  Watt is the sixth UW defensive player to be drafted during Doeren's tenure in Madison.

A last name that should be familiar to Huskie fans was called in the sixth round on Saturday when Louisville's Byron Stingily, a 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle, was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 10th pick in that round, the 175th choice overall.  Stingily, a native of Romeoville, Ill., is the older brother of NIU sophomore linebacker Cameron Stingily.   

If Byron can earn a roster spot of any kind with the Titans, Cameron Stingily will become the second Huskie with a brother playing in the NFL as offensive lineman Ryan Brown's brother, Patrick, was on the Minnesota Vikings roster at offensive tackle in 2010.


Dave Doeren at HASF.jpgThe Huskie Athletic Support Fund held its annual HASF Kickoff in Victor E. Court prior to the men's basketball game with Kent State Feb. 12. NIU head football coach Dave Doeren and head volleyball coach Ray Gooden spoke to the hundreds of NIU donors in attendance. It was the beginning of a full day of activities at the NIU Convocation Center. Here's a Photo Gallery of some of the highlights from the day's events.


Dave Doeren's first recruiting effort was so solid, it took up two spots on CollegeFootball's list, ranking the Huskies' signing class Nos. 5 and 6! There is a school missing on this list (assuming they don't correct this entry before you read it). See if you can figure it out.


|'s Andrea Adelson answered John from Glendale Heights' query about Dave Doeren's 2011 signing class in the most recent Non-AQ Mailbag entry.

Doeren's Aiming For A BCS Bowl

During the signing day press conference Wednesday, first-year head football coach Dave Doeren established that one of his goals is for NIU to reach a BCS bowl game.  He wants the Huskies to reach and maintain the same status that TCU and Boise State have achieved recently.  The Daily Chronicle's Ryan Wood caught up with Doeren on signing day to talk more about his vision for the Huskie football program.  Click here to read today's story.

Turner Represents Falcons and Huskies in 2010 Pro Bowl


Turner - Pro Bowl.jpg
Former Huskie running back, one of the NIU all-time greats, Michael Turner (2000-03) played in his second career Pro Bowl yesterday evening.  The Atlanta Falcons back turned in 53 yards on eight carries and had one catch for 11 yards.  Turner's 64-total-yard performance helped the NFC crush the AFC 55-41 in Honolulu.  The game marked the end of Turner's seventh season in the NFL.  During the 2010 campaign, the North Chicago, Ill., native posted his second 1,000-yard season (1,371) and had his third with double digit touchdowns (12).

Diem, Turner, Wolfe Advance to NFL Playoffs

The NFL regular season may have ended yesterday, but for three Huskies the season will continue with the playoffs.  Ryan Diem and the Indianapolis Colts will host the New York Jets Saturday night.  Michael Turner and the Atlanta Falcons snagged the top seed in the NFC and await the results of Wild Card Weekend for their Divisional Round opponent.  Garrett Wolfe and the Chicago Bears received the No. 2 seed in the NFC and are in the same boat as the Falcons, waiting for their next foe.  Congrats and good luck to our Huskies!

Video Proof of Fun at 6,000 Feet

If the picture below did not please you enough, don't worry.  Click here to go to the Bowl Central page and check out the awesome video of the Huskies tubing in Boise.  If only there was video of NIU Associate V.P./Director of Athletics Jeff Compher on the tubes.  There's a rumor spreading around the department that Mr. Compher and his senior staff tubed down the mountain together.  We are currently looking for video/photo evidence.  Stay tuned for possible updates on this situation and be sure to check back to Huskie Happenings and the Bowl Central page for more updates and videos over the next few days.

Media Reaction to New Football Coach Dave Doeren

Doeren and Media.jpegYesterday's announcement of and press conference for new NIU football head coach Dave Doeren got the media talking.  Take a look at what they have said over the past 24 hours:

Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune | 2

Chicago Sun-Times A.P. story

Daily-Chronicle | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Daily Herald

Rockford Register Star

10 Things You Need To Know About the Humanitarian Bowl

Check this out from  A list of 10 very interesting things about the matchup for this year's Humanitarian Bowl.  I strongly encourage reading, especially the last three.  

Huskies Having Fun Preparing For Bowl Game

Amid all the comings and goings around the NIU football program, one thing the Huskies have not lost sight of is having a little fun.  At Friday's practice, interim head coach Tom Matukewicz held a few fun one-on-one competitions between players in front of the entire team to keep things loose.  To read more about the details, click here to read John Sahly's article in the Daily Chronicle.  

Huskie Bowl Swag

Interested to know what type of gifts will be handed out by many of the bowls around the country?  You need to look no further.  The Huskies and Bulldogs will each receive quite a nice package of goodies, which includes a Sony gift suite, New Era skull cap, waterproof breathable parka, winter gloves, hand warmers, Ogio fugitive backpack and Big Game souvenir football.  Click here to see what other bowls are handing out.
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