Huskies secondary will be important in next game

By Brian Thomas

Although the Huskies’s defensive line was the headliner last week, the Huskies secondary will be the key in the game against Tennessee-Martin.

The defensive line recorded six sacks against Iowa, which leads the NCAA in sacks, but the secondary played a big role and deserves a lot of credit for that, as well.

“I think that’s coverage, too,” said head coach Dave Doeren in a press conference. “I think we’ve got pretty good DB’s. I think that’s part of it. When you’re sacking the quarterback a lot, obviously you’re winning up front, but you also have to have time to get there. Those go hand in hand.”

The secondary limited the Iowa passing game to just 129-yards through the air on 21 completions. The longest play they surrendered was 20 yards.

Junior defensive back Jimmie Ward led the team in tackles with 12 and broke up two passes on the day. Senior defensive back Rashaan Melvin broke up two passes, as well.

“I think our corners and our safeties played a really good football game,” Doeren said in a press conference. “We were in places where every catch was contended. There were no freebies in that game. They were hit pretty quickly when they did catch the football, and a couple times they were hit pretty firmly.”

In NIU’s matchup against the Skyhawks, Ward, Melvin and the rest of the secondary better be prepared for another strong defensive effort against a pass-heavy offense.

With senior quarterback, Derek Carr and senior wide-out Quentin Sims, you can be sure the Skyhawks will be airing it out often.

Last season, Carr threw for a school-record 25 touchdowns and 2,482 yards.

Sims was named to the ALL-OVC second team last season, as he caught 10 touchdowns and recorded 712 receptions. Sims is Carr’s favorite receiver as Sims led the team in receptions with 54.

If the NIU secondary can play like they did last week and hold these two guys in check Saturday, the Huskies should pick up their first win of the season.