Football update: QB still TBD; Huskies picked 2nd in MAC West; Football, Corn Fest to partner for home opener; NIU, DeKalb join forces for community window displays


NIU President Doug Baker (right) unveils the NIU quarterback greats window Tuesday outside of the Lincoln Inn, 240 E. Lincoln Highway. This is the second year the city has partnered with NIU to honor Huskies players and athletics through window displays.NIU President Doug Baker (right) unveils the NIU quarterback greats window Tuesday outside of the Lincoln Inn, 240E. Lincoln Highway. This is the second year the city has partnered with NIU to honor Huskies players and athleticsthrough window display

By Frank Gogola

With football’s fall camp right around the corner, things are beginning to heat up for the Huskies.

While the Huskies are still not sure who their quarterback will be, they know who their competition will be, as they weren’t selected to win the MAC West Division and will have to play the underdog role they are so familiar with. In the community, football and Corn Fest will partner together to help support a DeKalb family, while NIU and the city of DeKalb got together to bring football window clings to DeKalb businesses for the second-straight year.

Football not settled on quarterback yet

The one, big, look-at-me-I’m-so-obvious question still remains without an answer: Who will [try to] replace Jordan Lynch under center?

Redshirt junior quarterback Matt McIntosh and redshirt sophomores Drew Hare and Anthony Maddie competed throughout spring practice and will likely continue to fight it out until the end of fall camp.

“You don’t [replace a guy like Lynch], and you won’t,” said head coach Rod Carey during the ESPN3 portion of MAC Media Day on Wednesday. “There’s a similarity in the transition that was from Chandler [Harnish] to Jordan [Lynch] that there is from now Jordan [Lynch] to who our guy will be this year, and the similarity in there is that we knew Jordan was going to be pretty good, just no one else did. Well, these three guys are going to be pretty good, we just don’t know who the one guy is yet — that’s the difference yet.”

As Carey has firmly said from the start, he won’t run a two-quarterback system; there will be one starting quarterback named. As for when, only time will tell.

“I’m not a two-quarterback guy in any way, shape or form,” Carey said on ESPN3. “I believe that we’ve been fortunate at NIU; for the last five years we’ve probably had some of the top quarterback play in the nation. And so whoever that guy is, that needs to be the guy, and he knows the role he’s stepping in to. There’s going to be enough with that. We need to let him lead and let him be himself.”

As for the defensive side of the ball, the plan to attempt to replace safety Jimmie Ward has been in place since spring ball, when the Huskies moved junior cornerback Marlon Moore to safety. Moore will partner with redshirt senior Dechane Durante in the backend of the defense.

“As much as Jordan meant to us on offense last year, Jimmie probably meant more on defense to us last year,” Carey said on ESPN3. “He was that good. I thought he could have been the conference player of the year. Obviously, [Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil] Mack was well deserving.”

MAC Football Preseason Poll: Huskies Second in MAC West

Football was picked to finish in second place in the MAC West Division in the 2014 MAC Football Preseason Poll, which was released Wednesday at the league’s annual media day.

The 21 media voters predicted the Toledo Rockets to win the MAC West Division and the defending champion Bowling Green Falcons to win the MAC East Division title and the 2014 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game.

Below is the full poll with first-place votes in brackets.

MAC East Division

1. Bowling Green [18] 144

2. Akron [3] 114

3. Ohio 107

4. Buffalo 87

5. Kent State 72

6. Miami (Ohio) 43

7. Massachusetts 23

MAC West Division

1. Toledo [11] 114

2. NIU [8] 110

3. Ball State 82

4. Central Michigan [2] 67

5. Western Michigan 44

6. Eastern Michigan 24

2014 Marathon MAC Championship Game winner: Bowling Green 11; Toledo 6; Central Michigan 2; NIU 1; Akron 1

Football, Corn Fest to partner for home opener

Opening at home for the first time since the 2011 season, the Huskies and Corn Fest are getting together to do something special.

The Huskies will wear commemorative jerseys for their home opener against Presbyterian on Aug. 28, and Corn Fest will auction off some items, with the proceeds going to the local Canaday family, Carey said on July 21 at NIU’s Chicago Media Day.

Christopher Canaday, a soon-to-be eighth grader at Clinton Rosette Middle School, was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart defect that caused his right ventricle to be bypassed and nonfunctional, according to a March 18 Northern Star article. He has had more than 26 surgeries to try to treat it. Christopher Canaday’s dad, Mark Canaday, was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer, according to the article.

More information and details about the jerseys and auctions are still to come.

NIU, DeKalb partner on community window displays

NIU and the DeKalb partnered to showcase window clings featuring the Huskies football program at DeKalb businesses for the second-straight fall, according to a July 22 news release.

There will be 22 images at 18 locations this fall, with the first of the clings unveiled on Tuesday at the Lincoln Inn, 240 E. Lincoln Highway. Last year there were clings at 10 locations.

2014’s theme is the History and Tradition of NIU Football, which features Huskie football players, coaches, fans, band members and cheerleaders. The first image, revealed at the Lincoln Inn, showcases NIU’s three First Team All-American quarterbacks: Bob Heimerdinger (1951), George Bork (1963) and Jordan Lynch (2013).