Huskies want to forget 9-2 season

By Eric Burt

One of the biggest topics at the 1990 Huskie Football Spring Media Luncheon was forgetting about 1989’s 9-2 season and concentrating on what is to come.

The Huskie offense will face the toughest task after finishing as the No. 6 rushing team in the nation and having the No. 1 rushing quarterback in Stacy Robinson.

“That’s one of the toughest things we face as coaches,” offensive coordinator Mike Summers said. “Last year we had the No. 1 offense in the history of the school. We have to keep ourselves motivated to do better because it’s possible to have a good offense and not be No. 1 in school history.”

The Huskie offense last season set the NIU single-game total offense mark with 623 yards against Cincinnati en route to the single-season total offense record with 4,502 yards. In all, NIU set five single-game records, all against Cincinnati.

This season the offense is moving to the Spread Option, which will open up the field for Robinson, allowing him to pass more, thus confusing the defenses and making NIU even more dangerous.

“We needed to take the offense to another level,” head coach Jerry Pettibone said of the Spread Option. “There’s no way we’ll be satisfied with 9-2.”

Robinson feels that the new plan will be an aid in matching last year’s success.

“We will have to throw a lot to put up the numbers like we did rushing last year,” Robinson said. “We need to forget about 1989 in 1990. The only way to achieve our goals is to forget.”

Fullback Adam Dach feels that the squad didn’t reach their goal last season.

“We didn’t reach our goal last year, which was 11-0, we were 9-2,” Dach said. “This year we’re still keeping the thought of a bowl game in the back of our mind.”

Can Robinson be as successful with the rush in 1990 as he was in 1989? While watching himself break a few long runs on the 1989 highlight tape, Robinson hopes he can this fall.

He also wants to work on other areas of his game to make his name more known with some pro scouts.

“I’d like to pass more,” he said. “That would help me be drafted as a quarterback rather than a running back.”

The theme of forgetting last year and concentrating on this year doesn’t only apply to the offense. The defense lost four starters—linemen Ted Hennings and Phil Bucaro, linebacker Ron Delisi and cornerback Brett Tucker—after last season and are looking forward to this fall.

“We don’t even worry about that,” defensive coordinator Tim McGuire said. “We can’t dwell on who we lost. We played the last two games (last year) without Tucker, so with that in mind we can deal with the others not being there.

“That’s the great thing about college athletics—people move on and young guys come in and do a good job.”

Spring, or as Pettibone called it “late winter”, practice will end with the annual Red-White Game on April 28 at 2 p.m.