Football will host Illinois State for the first time since 2000


Football will host Illinois State for the first time since 2000

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — Head Coach Thomas Hammock’s era officially begins Saturday when the Huskies take on the Illinois State University Redbirds. The last time the teams faced-off was in 2000. 

Hammock said he is hoping the home field will give the Huskies an advantage and that fans will arrive to show support. 

“The one thing I hope for Saturday is that we have a dynamic home-field advantage with the crowd,” Hammock said. “We want the fans to be there; we want them to be loud.”

Hammock said senior linebacker Lance Deveaux will not play in Saturday’s game due to an operation and will be out for an extended period of time. 

The Redbirds are coming off the 2018 season with a 6-5 record behind Head Coach Brock Spack and an average of 20.1 points per game scored with their defense allowing 20 points per game. 

NIU is coming off a 2018 season with a 8-6 record under former head coach, Rod Carey. The Huskies offense averaged 20.1 points per game, with the defense giving up 22.6 points per game.

Running back Tre Harbison said he is optimistic about the group of running backs this season and said every player brings something to the table.

“We have a really talented running back group,” Harbison said. “Everybody brings a different identity to the offense.”

Hammock said the team will be preparing by adding more depth at the offense and rotating players to keep them fresh on the field. 

“I like our starting five [on the offense],” Hammock said. “I would like to have more depth. Certainly I’d like to have 10 guys we’re comfortable with; we’re not there yet, but we’re going to continue to try and develop that depth over the course of the season.”

Kick off is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Huskie Stadium.