Rapid Reaction: NIU 55, Presbyterian 3


By Frank Gogola

What happened: The Huskies opened the 2014 season with a 55-3 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose Thursday at Huskie Stadium.

How it happened: The offense accumulated 635 total yards, including 424 rushing yards. Senior Akeem Daniels, who missed all of last season while recovering from a foot injury, carried the ball 15 times for 118 yards; it was his third career 100-yard rushing game. Sophomore Joel Bouagnon carried the ball 16 times for 97 yards and found the end zone four times, scoring his first career touchdown in the process.

All three quarterbacks got reps, with Matt McIntosh playing the first quarter, Drew Hare playing the second quarter and the first drive of the third quarter and Anthony Maddie playing the remainder of the game.

The defense held the Blue Hose to 127 total yards, the fewest yards allowed by the defense since it allowed 64 yards to Kent State on Oct. 8, 2011.

What it means: The Huskies extended their FBS-best home winning to 27 games.

The quarterback battle seems to still be wide open. Maddie’s stats were not as great as McIntosh’s and Hare’s, but he played primarily with the second-team offense while McIntosh and Hare got reps with the first-team offense.

It appears the running game will continue to carry the load for the Huskies, especially early on as the coaching staff searches for a permanent starting quarterback.

The defense looked solid, although the level of competition is not what they will see when they face Northwestern next week.

Three stars:

3. Senior linebacker Michael Santacaterina: seven tackles, one tackle for loss

2. Senior running back Akeem Daniels: 15 carries for 118 yards

1. Sophomore running back Joel Bouagnon: 16 carries for 97 yards, four touchdowns

Up next: The Huskies have a bit of extra rest time before they take on the Northwestern Wildcats 2:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Ryan Field in Evanston.