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National Coverage for NIU's Big Win

FB13 - Lynch throws (BSU) - HH.jpg
NIU showed a national audience on ESPN2 and a press box full of media from not only Chicago but the entire nation that the Huskies' 10-0 record and especially quarterback Jordan Lynch, is for real.  The Huskies defeated a Ball State team that came in 9-1 on the year with an ACC win over Virginia under its belt, and a potent passing attack.  See what the national media, as well as Tribune columnist David Haugh, had to say about NIU and Lynch in these stories:

Huskies Live in the Land of Almost
Northern Illinois Revels in the Right Kind of Exposure
New York Times (Nov. 15, 2013)
With lights on, Lynch lights out
Chicago Tribune (Nov. 14, 2013) 
Can NIU's Jordan Lynch win your Heisman love (Nov. 14, 2013)
Jordan Lynch leads Northern Illinois past Ball State
USA Today (Nov. 14, 2013)
Lynch, NIU make case with win over Ball St. (Nov. 14, 2013)
Jordan Lynch shines as Northern Illinois continues BCS push (Nov. 14, 2013)


Storify: Northern Illinois Football's Historic win at Purdue


Storify: A Recap of NIU Football Game Week 1



The Mid-American Conference held its annual MAC Media Day yesterday at Ford Field in Detroit. Below is a collection of stories on the Northern Illinois Huskies from various media outlets that attended the event.

NIU's Jordan Lynch has Heisman hopes like Johnny Football
USA Today (July 23, 2013)

Lynch on NIU expectations: 'Pressure is a privilege'
Chicago Tribune (July 23, 2013)

NIU picked to win third straight MAC football title
Chicago Tribune (July 23, 2013)

Northern Illinois picked to win MAC crown
Orlando Sentinel (July 23, 2013)

From party crashers to 3-peat? (July 23, 2013)

Ten must-see games in the MAC (July 23, 2013)

Northern Illinois, Ohio expected to shine in the MAC (July 23, 2013)

MAC, smaller conferences wait for NCAA change; more MAC media day notes (July 23, 2013)

Jordan Lynch plans for another run at Northern Illinois
Chicago Sun-Times (July 24, 2013)


NIU Athletics would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of long-time NIU Football "Sound Guy" Rick Calderon, who passed away Wednesday, May 1, in DeKalb following a long illness.

Calderon, who retired from NIU in 2008, was a fixture at Northern Illinois home and away football games for many, many seasons. In addition to operating the public address and music systems during games, he was responsible for the coaches' headset communications both home and away. At head coach Joe Novak's request, Calderon would set up "music" (often the opposing teams' fight songs, crowd noise and band played on a loop) to be blared at footbal practice during the week to simulate the other team's stadium atmosphere. On road trips, he would spend time illustrating post cards which he would then send to his many friends.

Calderon graduated from Northern Illinois in 1982 and was active in designing, installing and maintaining audio/visual systems around campus in addition to working with the football team. Read much more on Calderon, here. A memorial service was held Wednesday, May 8, in DeKalb.


Postgame 6.jpgWith spring football right around the corner, check out this preview on the Huskies' upcoming 2013 spring drills by Yahoo! Sports blogger Frank Schwab. He identifies the defensive front seven and the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball as wild cards heading into spring. He also talks about Jordan Lynch's chances of winning the Heisman in 2013.


Northern Illinois Head Football Coach Rod Carey will join Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein of WSCR 670 AM The Score Friday, March 8 from Fatty's Pub & Grille in DeKalb.  Carey will update listeners on what's been happening with Huskie Football since the Orange Bowl as NIU gets ready for spring practice beginning March 20.  Fans in the area are welcome to come by the show, which will be live from Fatty's from 1-6 p.m.  Carey's segment will begin at approximately 3:40 p.m  If you can't make it to DeKalb, be sure to listen!


CBSports Bass Screen Grab.jpgThe Huskies victory over Kansas was one of four victories for the Mid-American Conference over a BCS conference this weekend and the nation has taken notice. filed this story Saturday evening, even as Akron was battling Tennessee down in Knoxville. The Chicago Tribune included the MAC in its 10 things we learned from the college football weekend. CollegeFootball included the MAC and Jordan Lynch its Who's Hot... The Week 4 Stars.

The NFL preseason continued this weekend with week two. Now that we are halfway through the four-week preseason, here is a breakdown of how all the former Huskies have fared through two weeks.

QB Chandler Harnish - Indianapolis Colts
After an impressive first week, Harnish fell back to Earth Sunday night in Pittsburgh, going 3-for-9 for 45 yards and an interception in the Indianapolis Colts' 26-24 loss against the Steelers. The former Huskie led a long Colt drive in the fourth quarter, hitting tight end Griff Whalen for completions of 27 and 22 yards to get to the Pittsburgh 31 before an interception ended the drive.

WR Nathan Palmer - San Francisco 49ers
Palmer saw extended playing time in the San Francisco 49ers' 20-9 loss at the Houston Texans, but did not record any receptions. He was targeted twice by quarterback Scott Tolzien in the fourth quarter, but was unable to haul either in.

LB Larry English - San Diego Chargers
English posted two solo tackles Saturday night in the San Diego Chargers' 28-20 victory against the Dallas Cowboys. The first came late in the third quarter, while the second happened on Dallas' opening drive in the fourth quarter.

RB Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons
Turner was limited on the ground, netting -3 yards on three carries. However, the former NFL rushing champ caught three passes for 14 yards in the Falcons' 24-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Turner's longest gain was eight yards on a screen pass from Matt Ryan in the first quarter.

OL Doug Free - Dallas Cowboys
Free started on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys for the second consecutive game Saturday night, as Dallas dropped a 28-20 decision against the San Diego Chargers. Free helped the Cowboys get a first quarter field goal before exiting the game.

C Scott Wedige - Arizona Cardinals
Wedige got more playing time at center Friday night in the Arizona Cardinals' 31-27 win against the Oakland Raiders. The former NIU All-American has played in all three games for Arizona as he pushes for a roster spot in the desert.

LB Pat Schiller - Atlanta Falcons
Schiller got a long look at linebacker Thursday in Atlanta's 24-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but did not record any stats in the game. However, last year's starting middle linebacker at NIU had a hand in several big stops.

WR Landon Cox - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cox saw playing time in Tampa Bay's 30-7 loss against the Tennessee Titans Friday. However, he did not record any stats.

DB Tracy Wilson - Tennessee Titans
Wilson got on the field for the Titans in their 30-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but did not post any statistics.

FB Cameron Bell- San Francisco 49ers
Bell did not play in San Francisco's 20-9 loss at the Houston Texans.

NOTE: Wide receiver Britt Davis was released by the New England Patriots Tuesday after injuring his shoulder late in the week one win over the New Orleans Saints. Per NFL injury settlement rules, Davis can return to New England after week six if he is not signed by any other team.

Three games in week three will feature former Huskies. It begins Thursday night on ESPN when the Arizona Cardinals (Scott Wedige) take on the Tennessee Titans (Tracy Wilson) in Nashville at 7 p.m. CT. Meanwhile, Chandler Harnish and the Indianapolis Colts battle the Washington Redskins Saturday at 3 p.m. on NFL Network. Lastly, Nathan Palmer and Cameron Bell both continue their push from undrafted to final 53 Sunday at 3 p.m. on Fox when they travel to face the Denver Broncos.

For the full Week Three schedule, click here.


The first full week of the NFL preseason is in the books, so here is a quick recap of how the former Huskies did over the weekend.

QB Chandler Harnish - Indianapolis Colts
Harnish went 3-for-3 passing for 52 yards and a touchdown, while playing the entire fourth quarter under center in the Colts' 38-3 win over the St. Louis Rams. With a first and 10 at the St. Louis 33-yard line, the 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner lofted a pass down the left sideline to Jeremy Ross to help put Indianapolis up 35-3. To watch the video of that touchdown pass, click here.

WR Nathan Palmer - San Francisco 49ers
Palmer continued his impressive training camp in San Francisco with three receptions for 21 yards as the 49ers topped the Minnesota Vikings, 17-6. His first catch of the night - a five-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick - helped set up a San Francisco field goal early in the third quarter. Later on, Palmer's receptions of 13 and three yards helped get the 49ers inside the redzone before a turnover ended the drive.

WR Britt Davis - New England Patriots
Davis caught a three-yard touchdown pass Thursday in what proved to be the winning points in New England's 7-6 win against the New Orleans Saints. On a first and goal, Davis found an opening in the Saints' defense and hauled in a strike from Brian Hoyer for the score. To see the highlight, click here

LB Larry English - San Diego Chargers
English had a great performance Thursday night, as he recorded a sack and a QB hurry in San Diego's 21-13 win against the Green Bay Packers. The former Huskie defensive end came around the corner late in the second quarter and sacked Graham Harrell for a four-yard loss. However, a penalty on San Diego during the play erased the yardage lost.

RB Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons
Turner ran the ball five times for 17 yards in limited action during Atlanta's 31-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The former Huskies gained nine yards on three carries in the Falcons' opening drive, which ended on a touchdown. Turner recorded two more carries of two and six yards, respectively, before giving way to the second-team offense.

OL Doug Free - Dallas Cowboys
Free started on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys Monday night in their hard-fought 3-0 victory against the Oakland Raiders.

C Scott Wedige - Arizona Cardinals
Wedige has seen extensive playing time in both of the Cardinals preseason games this year at center. Arizona has dropped both of their games so far, losing to the New Orleans
Saints, 17-10, in the Hall of Fame Game and on Friday to the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-17.

LB Pat Schiller - Atlanta Falcons
Schiller recorded two solo tackles Thursday in Atlanta's 31-17 loss against the Baltimore Ravens. His first stop came early in the third quarter when he stuffed Ben Rainey for a three-yard pickup, while his second tackle stopped Damien Berry for two yards late in the third quarter.

FB Cameron Bell- San Francisco 49ers
Bell saw action in San Francisco's 17-6 win against the Minnesota Vikings, but did not record any stats.

WR Landon Cox - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cox saw playing time in Tampa Bay's 20-7 win against the Miami Dolphins Friday. However, he did not record any receptions.

DB Tracy Wilson - Tennessee Titans
After being released by the New York Jets earlier in the week, Wilson signed Wednesday with the Titans and did not see any action in Tennessee's 27-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Six former Huskies will be featured on national TV this week. Michael Turner and Pat Schiller play Thursday on Fox when the Atlanta Falcons host the Cincinnati Bengals at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, you can catch Chandler Harnish on NBC's Sunday Night Football when the Indianapolis Colts take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7 p.m.. Additionally, the Dallas Cowboys (Doug Free) and San Diego Chargers (Larry English) face off Saturday at 8 p.m., while Britt Davis takes the field Monday night for the New England Patriots' ESPN contest with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

For the full Week Two schedule, click here.


Wedige_Cardinals.JPGNFL training camps are now in full gear, which means that football season is just around the corner. This year, 12 former Huskies are in training camps, including five from last season's MAC Championship squad.

QB Chandler Harnish (Indianapolis), WR Nathan Palmer (San Francisco), C Scott Wedige (Arizona), LB Pat Schiller (Atlanta) and FB Cameron Bell (San Francisco) will try to join RB Michael Turner (Atlanta), WR Britt Davis (New England), LB Larry English (San Diego), OT Doug Free (Dallas), CB Chris Smith (St. Louis) and CB Tracy Wilson (New York Jets) as Huskies in the NFL. Meanwhile, WR Landon Cox will also get an opportunity to catch on in the league, as he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this week.

Huskie fans will also get to see a familiar face on the field in the first preseason game of the year Sunday night, as Wedige and the Arizona Cardinals take on the New Orleans Saints in the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. CT on NFL Network. Fans can also follow the action live on The contest will also feature 2012 Hall of Fame inductees Jack Butler, Dermotti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf, all of whom will be formally inducted the night before.

For the full NFL preseason schedule to see when the other NIU alums are in action, click here.


Cox-Landon-2010-008.jpgFormer Huskie wide receiver Landon Cox signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday. Cox, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after his career at NIU, played in 50 games for Northern Illinois, starting 30. He had 1,109 yards on 98 receptions and eight touchdowns during his career.


NIU defeats Arkansas State.jpg

The Northern Illinois Huskies check in at No. 54 on the Pre-Snap Read preseason countdown for 2012, putting NIU ahead of every MAC team except for one. 

Paul Myerberg has some good facts in here, including that NIU is one of just 11 teams in the country to win 11 games over the last two seasons and is one of just TWO teams with an APR of 980 or above on that list. 

Myerberg also mentions the Huskies' legacy of 1,000-yard rushers and notes that not even current some of the traditional "powerhouse" programs (Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Notre Dame to name a few) can match NIU's mark for consistency over the last 12 years.

He breaks down Jordan Lynch (loves his potential), the offensive line possibilities and says that in Sean Progar and Alan Baxter the Huskies have "the best [defensive] end pairing in the MAC."

You'll have to read the story to see more, as well as Myerberg's complete prediction, but you won't be disappointed. 

FYI - Pre-Snap Read ranked the Huskies #59 in its 2011 preseason countdown and #55 in 2010.  In each of those years, he had to adjust the Huskies higher.


Army12 - Michie Stadium (web).jpgNorthern Illinois' 2012 football game versus Army at Michie Stadium in West Point will kick off at Noon (ET)/11 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, Sept. 15 and be televised by CBS Sports Network.  CBS Sports Network is available to 99 million homes nationwide as well as via satellite on DirecTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 158.

NIU fans interested in following the Huskies to New York and take in the game, as well as the sights of New York City, can check out several travel packages available through Premiere Global Sports online at or by calling Premiere Global Sports at 855-329-9274.

Northern Illinois game on Wednesday, Nov. 14 versus Toledo at Huskie Stadium will kickoff at 8 p.m. (CT) and air on ESPN2 or ESPNU.  The remainder of NIU's 2012 game times will be announced by the MAC and Northern Illinois later this summer.  


Diem-Ryan.jpgFormer Northern Illinois University offensive lineman and Indianapolis Colt Ryan Diem announced his retirement from the NFL today. Diem played 11 years (2001-11) all with the Colts. He began his career at right guard before playing right tackle for nine seasons. He returned to right guard this past season. Diem played in two Super Bowls and was a member of the Colt team that won Super Bowl XLI. 


NIU head coach Dave Doeren announced the hiring of Mike Dunbar as the Huskies' new offensive coordinator yesterday. A 35-year coaching veteran, Dunbar brings a wealth of experience with him to NIU. Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune posted this story on Dunbar in today's paper, while Scott Powers of had this post on the hire on his blog. Paul Myerberg of broke down the hire in greater detail in his blog post today.


Harnish-Chandler-2010-002.jpgOne of Chandler Harnish's favorite groups to work with in the DeKalb-Sycamore area is the Cornerstone Christian Academy. Harnish took part in a fundraiser at the school Wednesday which as of Wednesday had raised $25,000 for tuition assistance to Cornerstone Christian Academy. The Daily-Chronicle was out at CCA and caught up with the Huskie signal caller in this piece.


Salerno-Mike-2009-008.jpgMike Salerno is back kicking in the Chicago area. The Orland Park native signed a deal to kick for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League. Salerno, who kicked for NIU from 2008-09, scored 184 points hitting 73 extra points and going 19-of-25 on field goals. He kicked a career long 52 yarder for the Huskies in 2008.

The Rush will be Salerno's third AFL team. He kicked for the Kansas City Command in 2011 and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz in 2010. Salerno and the Rush open their 2012 season Sunday, March 11th against the Tampa Bay Storm.


Collins-Spann.jpgFrom the where are they now file, I received this note from former Huskie center McAllister Collins Saturday afternoon. Collins, who played for the Huskies from 1997-2000, was a first team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2000 and he was teammates with Huskie greats Justin McCariens, Ryan Diem and Thomas Hammock.

Collins, who is attending the prestigious Royal Military Academy - Sandhurst, met up with another former Huskie last week - Chad Spann. Spann, who had just signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, was on the trip to London where the Buccaneers faced off against the Chicago Bears. It was a reunion of sorts as the two had met before Spann had attended Northern Illinois.

My name is McAllister Collins and I will ALWAYS be a proud Huskie!  Upon departing from NIU I enjoyed a brief stint in the National Football League which was followed by continued work within the sports industry.  A couple years ago, I decided to "answer the call" and am now a Military Intelligence (Branch Detail - FIeld Artillery) Officer in the United States Army.  I was selected (from hundreds of potential candidates) and am now attending the Royal Military Academy - Sandhurst (RMAS).  RMAS is essentially the "West Point" for the British Army, except it is the sole commissioning source of British Army Officers.  As I am sure you are aware, in The United States, we also have ROTC and Officer Candidate School (OCS). 
Since I am one of only 10 Americans who have ever attended Sandhurst in the Academy's long, proud history, the administrators here try their best to get me involved in anything occurring closeby that is of American origin.  As such, we attended practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday (October 20) in preparation for their matchup against the Chicago Bears this Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.  You can only imagine the joy I felt in my heart when I saw NIU's very own, Chad Spann, walking off of the practice field.  I actually met Chad back in his hometown years prior during a mentoring program run by a service organization in which I am a former member.  I introduced myself to him all those years ago when he mentioned that his goal was to attend Northern Illinois University and play football.  As a former Huskie football player myself ('97-'00, DT, OT, C), I became somewhat of an advisor for Chad and his family.  Who would have thought that over five years later, Chad and I would meet again in one of the most unlikely places. 
I have attached a photo of Chad and myself.  It's always great to see and meet new (and old) Huskies all over the world.
Go Huskies!
2LT McAllister Collins, Field Artillery
NIU Football - 1997-2000
By the way, of course I'm rooting for the Bears!!!!

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