Huskies hungry for K-State ‘Cats

By Eric Burt

NIU football will try to extend Kansas State’s non-winning streak to 30 games when the Huskies take on the Wildcats this Saturday (Sept. 23) at 1:10 p.m.

“Kansas State is hungry for a win so we’re very cautious as we go into this game,” NIU offensive coordinator Mike Summers said. “Just because they’re a team that hasn’t won a game, we’re not going to take this game lightly.”

The streak cannot be labeled a “losing streak” because of a game midway through the 1987 season when the ‘Cats forged a 17-17 tie with intrastate rival Kansas. KSU’s last victory was also over Kansas, 29-12, in 1986.

“KSU and its head coach Bill Snyder are going through a transition now, similar to the one that was occuring when I came here,” NIU defensive coordinator Tim McGuire said. “The kids are being taught new plays and terminology and they’re trying hard to adjust.”

This Saturday’s game will be a sort of homecoming for McGuire, who was linebacker coach for KSU for two years before coming to NIU in 1986.

Stacey Robinson enters his third game as Huskie quarterback with a .500 completion mark (15 of 30) and 158 yards passing. Add his 71 yards rushing, and he has accounted for almost half of NIU’s total offense (496) this season.

“Stacey is a lot farther down the road than I thought he would be after two games,” Summers said. “He is intelligent, has great poise and really understands the offense.”

The Wildcats lost in their season opener at Arizona State 31-0. In its first home game last weekend, KSU hosted Northern Iowa who edged the ‘Cats 10-8.

“We think the strength of Kansas State is their defense,” Summers said. “They are young players, but they’re playing hard.”

The good news for the Huskies is that defensive end Cary Caliendo will return to the starting lineup for the KSU game.

“This will be my first game where I’ll be playing at 100 percent,” Caliendo said. “I’m going to have a great game.”

Caliendo also thinks the week off will help the team.

“They don’t have a prayer,” he said. “We’re going to be so fired up after this week off.”

Sophomore halfback Brett Schroeder has caught the eye of Huskie fans as well as coaches. He has rushed for 58 yards, 49 of which came on one sprint against Cal State-Fullerton that set up a Huskie touchdown.

“Brett will play a lot this week,” Summers said. “He is playing the best of anyone in the backfield and his playing time will reflect that. He has great hands along with toughness and speed.”

Senior linebacker and co-captain Ron Delisi’s dislocated left wrist, injured in the third play of the Nebraska game, has had two weeks to rest and he should see some playing time against KSU.

“Ron probably won’t play as much as he usually does,” McGuire said, “but he will be in the game.”

Delisi needs only five tackles to pass Pat McAvoy and move into the number five position on the Huskie all-time tackle list. He has 322 to McAvoy’s 326.

Fullback Adam Dach needs only 11 yards rushing to become the 20th Huskie to reach the 1000 career yard mark.

They don’t have a prayer. We’re going to be so fired up after this week off.”

Cary Caliendo, defensive end