One thing NIU football prides itself on is defending its home field. The team does not want to lose there and will do anything to defend Huskie Stadium.
The team has more than lived up to that standard. The Huskies have won 21 consecutive games at Huskie Stadium, which is the longest current streak in NCAA football. The last time the Huskies were defeated in DeKalb was back on Sept. 26, 2009, at the hands of Idaho, 34-31.
Due to the Huskies’ dominance at home, a preseason article came out from BleacherReport.com, ranking the toughest places to play in college football. The article had Huskie Stadium ranked as the No. 1 toughest place to play in the nation.
While students reacted with excitement and pride, I look at this as a joke.
No fault to the players or the NIU football team, but Huskie Stadium could never be considered the toughest venue to play at in college football for one simple reason: the lack of students in the stands.
For whatever reason, during the Huskies’ greatest run in school history last season, in six home games, its average attendance was 15,670.
Huskie Stadium’s full capacity is 24,000. Even when BCS school Kansas came in last season, only 18,374 people were in attendance.
At last year’s homecoming game, only 14,419 people were in attendance for the Huskies’ victory over Buffalo. Buffalo may not be an exciting opponent, but it shouldn’t matter with a program like the Huskies’.
They have gone to five consecutive bowl games, won the MAC West Division three years straight, won back-to-back MAC Championships and went to their first Discover Orange Bowl last season. On top of all the team’s success, the Huskies have a Heisman candidate in senior quarterback Jordan Lynch.
Based on all of that, I don’t understand the lack of attendance at all. Looking at all the Huskies have accomplished in recent years, Huskie Stadium should be filled for every home game regardless of the opponent.
I’m not sure what more motivation you need to go to a Huskie football game.
All I know is the Huskies have their first home game of the season on Saturday against Eastern Illinois. If you want Huskie Stadium to be known as the toughest place to play in college football, give it a reason to be. Show up, pack the place and make Huskie Stadium loud all game long.