NIU faces rival Toledo


NIU faces rival Toledo

By Jayce Eustice

NIU has yet to clinch the MAC west but with two of their next three games against teams second and third in the standings, the Huskies are in the driver’s seat. The Huskies’ next game is against the Toledo Rockets at 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 7 at Huskie Stadium.

In their last contest, NIU’s offense clicked early against the Zips putting up 24 points in the first half. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers threw for 188 yards and a touchdown while completing 75 percent of his passes. His completion percentage marks his highest of the season by almost 13 percent.

Sophomore running back Tre Harbison had a career day rushing for 169 yards on 23 carries. It was the third time this season Harbison has passed the 100-yard mark. Harbison also added a touchdown giving him four on the year. Junior running back Marcus Jones did his part in the running game adding 82 yards to the team total on 15 carries.

While the Huskies’ run game was effective, the Zips’ run game struggled against NIU’s front line. Akron gained 35 yards on the ground on 28 attempts. The Huskies have given up 103.8 yards per game, good enough for 14th in FBS college football.

The Huskies’ 36-26 Thursday night victory over the Akron Zips marked the team’s fifth win in a row and leaves them sitting on top of the MAC West standings with a perfect 5-0 conference record.

Toledo comes to DeKalb having scored 96 points in their last two games combined. NIU has score 43 in their two previous games. In the Rockets last contest against Ball State, they put up 45 points on three rushing touchdowns and two through the air.

Toledo sophomore quarterback Ele Peters threw for 327 yards with two touchdowns but was intercepted four times. Junior running back Art Thompkins and first-year running back Bryant Koback combined for 162 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.

On the year, Toledo ranks fourth in the MAC in total yards gained while the Huskies come in ranked 10th out of 12 teams. For what the Huskies lack in total offensive statistics they make up for in defensive rankings.

Huskies rank first in the MAC in sacks with 32 on the year, seven ahead of the team in second. NIU junior defensive end Sutton Smith lead the MAC eight sacks and three forced fumbles. Huskies rank 32nd in the country in total defense

Toledo comes to town for the Huskies’ second to last home game of the season. The MAC conference game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 7 at Huskie Stadium.