On Wednesday morning at 8:20 a.m., tune in to NIU radio partner 670 AM The Score Chicago to hear head coaches Dave Doeren of Northern Illinois and Bret Bielema of Wisconsin discuss Saturday's match-up at Soldier Field on the "Mully and Hanley Show."
Doeren and Bielema will be on the show together to promote Soldier Field Showdown II. Tickets are still on sale for the game, as Northern Illinois plays host to a Big Ten team for just the second time in school history. Click on the "Buy Tickets" button at the top of this page or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.
Doeren has been plenty busy, and is still popular, north of the Illinois border. The Huskies' first year head man taped segments with five different radio shows Tuesday, including stations in Madison, Janesville/Rockford and Milwaukee.
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.
Last weekend, NIU hosted its annual Salvani Spring Play Date. During the successful, undefeated run for NIU, the Huskies split against Lewis (25-21, 19-21) and beat the NIU Alumni Team twice (25-19, 25-13 and 25-22, 25-20), Loyola (25-16, 25-9), Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (25-19, 25-17), Winona State (25-23, 25-18).
Of the notable performances from the day, Amber Walker played significant time at outside hitter and passed the ball very well. Sue Hayes and Justine Schepler platooned the libero spot well. Meghan Romo played in all six rotations, scoring well out of the back row. Mary Kurisch played solid all day as the main middle blocker and was a dominant physical presence.
The Huskies head to Madison, Wis., on Saturday to take on Iowa, Marquette, Michigan Tech, Minnesota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and host Wisconsin.