McIntosh named starting quarterback after months of wait


Quarterback Matt McIntosh (9) plays during Thursday’s game against Presbyterian, which NIU won 55-3. Head coach Rod Carey named McIntosh the Huskies’ starting quarterback Tuesday after months of McIntosh vying for the spot with Drew Hare and Anthony Maddie.

By Frank Gogola

Redshirt junior quarterback Matt McIntosh was less concerned with calling people to share the news of him being named NIU’s starting quarterback Tuesday and more concerned with perfecting his play calling on the field.

McIntosh learned from head coach Rod Carey around noon Tuesday that he would be the Huskies’ starting quarterback after battling with redshirt sophomores Drew Hare and Anthony Maddie since spring camp.

“I was very excited,” McIntosh said. “Obviously, I’ve been competing for a while now against Drew and Maddie, so it was very satisfying.

“Honestly, I haven’t told anyone yet. I’m really just focusing on the game at hand. I’ll probably call my parents and stuff [Tuesday night].”

Carey named McIntosh, who completed 10 of his 14 pass attempts for 87 yards and one touchdown Thursday against Presbyterian, the starter during Tuesday’s news conference.

“We feel like we have real good depth there, but it’s time,” Carey said. “Matt played well enough to be named the starter and [will] go ahead and be given that right now.

“… I think the determining factor was probably two-fold: One, it’s time to name a guy, and two, [McIntosh] had separated himself enough with just how he operated the team … .”

Bob Cole, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said he was most impressed with the competitive spirit he’s seen out of McIntosh.

“I just think he’s like one of those guys that wouldn’t go away,” Cole said. “He’s constantly battling, a competitor. He showed up every day. Whether he had a good or a bad day, he’d come back the next day and improve on it.”

Redshirt junior left guard Aidan Conlon said he thought McIntosh, who led three scoring drives in the Huskies’ season-opening 55-3 victory, looked calm and collected while running the offense.

“I felt like he was comfortable back there,” Conlon said. “He was a really good leader, really excited about calling plays, and he looked really well out there.”

McIntosh said he’s excited to start his first full game against Northwestern, and he expects the team to “do well” against the Wildcats Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston.

“We have a good offense, and Northwestern’s defense is really good, so we’re going to have to drive against them and see how it goes,” McIntosh said. “I’m very comfortable with the offensive playbook. … I think I have a very good grip.”

McIntosh said he was “excited” when he was told he’d be the starting quarterback, but even he knows winning the job means little if he doesn’t take care of business on the field.

“Just being the starter now, that’s one step,” McIntosh said. “Now the next step is playing games and winning games. That’s the most important thing.”