Football heads east for Buffalo

By Ryan Ostry

DeKALB — The football team will reach the midpoint of its season and its second Mid-American Conference game Saturday when they take on the University at Buffalo Bulls.

The Bulls are coming off of a seven-overtime game Oct. 7 against the Western Michigan Broncos in which they lost by a score of 71-68 to fall to 3-3 on the young season.

Head Coach Rod Carey said the score doesn’t indicate the Bulls defense or season and that 71 points is the culprit of all the overtimes.

“[Buffalo is an] outstanding football team,” Carey said. “If you watch the games in regulation, they are flying around to the football, they’re defeating blocks, they’re playing good pass coverage, they’re getting guys tackled to the ground and they have good players.”

The Huskies are coming off a win against the Kent State Golden Flashes with a score of 24-3, putting them to 1-0 in the MAC.

The last time these two MAC teams met was last year where NIU dominated with a 44-7 win behind former quarterback Anthony Maddie’s five touchdowns.

This time around, we will not know who will start at quarterback for the Huskies until shortly before the game, said Carey.

“I don’t know [who the starting quarterback will be],” Carey said. “[It] depends on how they prepare because you go into the game, depending on what’s happened during the week and how prepared you set your plan.”

In Saturday’s game against Kent State, redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Childers threw for three touchdowns and ran for 65 yards while giving the offense a spark in tough weather conditions.

Redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Graham is still out with a elbow injury that has plagued him since the first game of the season against Boston College Sept. 1.

The Huskies hope to have another receiving option Saturday as Chad Beebe, redshirt senior wide receiver, is on the verge of making his return from a shoulder injury that he suffered Sept. 9 against Eastern Illinois.

“He is going to practice [this week], and I anticipate him playing on Saturday,” Carey said. “That can change how he reacts after [Tuesday’s practice]. We were being pretty cautious with him.”

The defense for the Huskies remain one of the tops in the country while ranking first in yards per play giving up only 3.54.

“We try not to look as much into that as we can,” redshirt senior linebacker Alex Schwab said. “Obviously, we’ll see it all over social media and stuff, but we try to stay humble and come out with the same attitude and mentality every week.”

The Bulls have a junior quarterback in Drew Anderson who is coming off a seven touchdown game against the Western Michigan, while adding on to his nine total touchdown passes on the young season.

The veteran secondary of NIU will also have their hands full with Anthony Johnson, redshirt junior wide receiver, who has already caught 37 passes with over 600 yards and five touchdowns, according to ESPN.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulls are led by junior linebacker Khalil Hodge who has 81 tackles through six games, and has drawn comparisons to his predecessor Khalil Mack, who is now a pro-bowler on the Oakland Raiders.

The Huskies game against the University at Buffalo Bulls will begin 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Buffalo, New York.