Struggling Huskies head to Eastern Michigan

James Krause

The Huskies are still searching for their first road win of the season, and they hope to find it in Ypsilanti, Michigan against conference rivals, Eastern Michigan Eagles.

The team is coming off a 37-19 loss to the Florida State Seminoles in which the offense struggled, being outgained by their opponent for the fourth time this season. The team ranks dead last in the nation in total yards per game with 236 yards a game.

Head Coach Rod Carey addressed his team’s feelings on the slow start in his weekly news conference Tuesday.

“I don’t think there is frustration,” Carey said. “I think there is disappointment and resolve. This is a tough-minded team that is together and certainly unphased by events that have taken place so far.”

NIU also ranks second-to-last in the country in scoring, averaging only 14 points per game. However, the offense has not committed a turnover for two straight games for the first time since 2014.

Carey said he isn’t happy with the performance of his offense so far ,but he has faith in his coaching and player personnel.

“No one can sit here and say ‘I’m okay with it’ or ‘it’s good enough,” Carey said. “Believe me, it’s not. We’re working hard to change it. We have good players and good coaches. We need to execute, [and]that comes from coaching and players.”

Sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers said Carey has been working with the offense to develop a stronger execution.

“If we go out there and do our job, everything will fall into place the way we want it to. Just don’t turn the ball over,” Childers said.

The defense, meanwhile, has forced nine turnovers this season, including four last week against FSU.

The Huskies will be playing Eastern Michigan, a team notorious for close games. In their last 16 games, 12 have been decided by seven or fewer points, including an overtime loss to NIU last year in DeKalb.

Carey said the Eagles are just as strong, if not stronger, than the one they met last season.

“They’re a very good football team,” Carey said. “They have some dynamic football players on both sides of the ball. This is a team that won’t beat themselves.”

The Eagles have been operating their offense under two quarterbacks, senior Tyler Wiegers and junior Mike Glass III. Carey said EMU is playing both for a simple reason: They’re both very skilled.

“They’re playing two quarterbacks because they have two good quarterbacks,” Carey said. “They aren’t playing two because one or the other has a deficiency. They’re both in there running the same offense.”

Wiegers and Glass have a combined nine touchdowns and two interceptions through four games.

The Huskies have won every meeting with their West Division foes dating back to 2007. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. Saturday from Rynearson Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPN+.