Pettibone reviews 1990 campaign

By Eric Burt

The 1990 football campaign for the NIU Huskies is over. It is time to pack away the pads and the helmets until spring drills.

Although the Huskies finished a disappointing 6-5, head coach Jerry Pettibone and his staff have a few months to review the season and make any adjustments they feel will be beneficial next season.

We always look at the season and evaluate the film and our schemes, both offensively and defensively, and do things as a coaching staff that we feel will make us better,” Pettibone said. “But we’re not going to make any wholesale changes in our philosophy of running the ball.”

Despite losing five of six games on the road, the Huskies recorded their third consecutive winning season.

“We finished 6-5 and that’s our third winning season in a row,” he said. “The fact that we were able to have our third winning season means a lot to me. But I was disappointed that we didn’t have a better record and I’m sure all our players feel the same way.”

Some of the more obvious highlights of the campaign that emerge from the season have to be the come-from-behind Kansas State victory and the dismantling of then No. 24 Fresno State, 73-18. Pettibone has other highlights as well.

“One of the positive things is that we were able to play a lot of players on both sides of the ball,” he said. “The experience factor is probably as good as it has been around here in a long time. I think that will be a very positive thing going into spring practice and building our team for next year.

“Probably the biggest thing is the feeling I have for this senior class. Over the last three years they were 22-11 and 16-1 at home. I feel that they were the foundation for all the success we’ve had here in the last three years.”

From that group of seniors, the Huskies may have their largest NFL take of draft choices and free agents.

“All the pro scouts that came through here were very impressed with several of our players,” he said. “I think several of them will have an excellent opportunity to either be drafted or have a chance as a free agent. It’s a little early to know just how many and how high.”

Thanks to Oklahoma’s trouncing of Nebraska last Friday, the Huskies find themselves in the driver’s seat of the national team rushing race. Only two other teams have a chance to move NIU into the backseat. Army must rush for 512 yards against Navy this weekend and Texas A&M must gain 634 ground yards against rival Texas.

“We have a 99 percent chance of being the No. 1 rushing team in the nation,” Pettibone said. “Being No.1 in rushing in Division I-A and in the top 20 in total offense would be great.”