NIU football notebook

By Dave Tuley

“That was an exciting game, wasn’t it?” NIU head coach Jerry Pettibone said of the Huskies’ 27-21 win over Southwest Missouri State Saturday. “That’s what happens when two wishbone teams play.”

However, the two offenses did not put up overly impressive numbers in the matchup. SMSU outgained NIU in total yards 384-226. It was the Huskies’ lowest output of the year after averaging 434.4 yards a game. The Bears also had a 202-173 edge on the ground against NIU, which was ranked No. 7 among the nation’s rushing offenses entering the game.

Quarterback Marshall Taylor led the Huskies with only 40 rushing yards but became the third NIU player to surpass 4,000 career total yards along with George Bork and Bob Heimerdinger.

It may have been Band/tYouth Day, but NIU’s cheerleaders might be obsolete if kicker John Ivanic and linebacker Mike Manson keep up their antics.

Before every kickoff, Ivanic goes into a frenzy, waving his arms and yelling at the crowd to get rowdy. Manson does the same thing on defense with a little less flair.

“The kickoff is something to get excited about. Yeah, it means we just scored,” Ivanic said. “At the end of the game they (the fans) were taunting me first, and that was fun. I hope it continues.”

Former Huskie lineman and 1970 team Most Valuable Player Bob Weisendanger was honored at halftime.

The three-year letterwinner contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease five years ago and doctors have diagnosed Weisendanger’s condition as terminal with a slight chance of stabilization.

Weisendanger received a Huskie letterman’s blanket from co-captains Ted Karamanos and Tony Savegnago. He also received a letter from President Reagan that was read to the crowd.

If Bill Mallory went to Indiana with a five-year plan, he is ahead of schedule.

His Hoosiers are now 3-0 in the Big Ten in his fourth season after beating Minnesota 18-17 Friday night in the Homerdome. Indiana is tied with Michigan State for the league lead after the Spartans shut out Northwestern 38-0 Saturday. Indiana and Michigan State meet Nov. 14 in East Lansing, Mich.

The Huskies moved their bench to the east side of the stadium so “our entire bench will face the large side of the stadium and receive the full impact of 25,000 fans in Huskie Stadium,” Pettibone said.

Unfortunately for NIU, there were only 9,017 fans present Saturday. The small crowd could be attributed to the fact not many people had heard of Southwest Missouri State, students were turned away from tailgating at 11 a.m. because the start of the game was delayed and the temperature was 49 degrees (31 wind chill) at kickoff. The wind did not blow passes the Bears’ way too often although it was out of the southwest at 10 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.

Another reason more students did not attend might have been because it was the weekend after homecoming, which everyone knows is homegoing weekend.