NIU’s defense needs to continue to improve

By Tony Osborne

Things are starting to look up for the NIU football team.

The Huskies’ most recent win over the defensive powerhouse in Kent State could spring board the team into the second half of the season.

The upcoming weeks ahead show some exciting games with some new personnel, which the Huskies will need to help with the resurgence of their season.

After a steamy October Saturday, there were many bright spots that shined early and often for NIU.

With the defense as the Achilles’ heel in the beginning of the 2011 season, a statement game was in order for the Huskies.

And beating the Golden Flashes made that statement, 40-10, marking the lowest amount of points the Huskies gave up this season.

This defensive surge, however, is not little too late.

Though the Huskies are six games into their schedule and 1-1 in MAC play, there are still plenty conference teams ahead of them.

In those games, NIU will need to keep the defensive prowess going with a tough Western Michigan team coming to town for homecoming.

And not to mention, playing at Toledo will be a challenging road game.

NIU needs to win the rest of its games in order to head back to the MAC Championship, salvaging the 3-3 start to an 11-3 finish again.

For the nay-sayers, the NIU defense is coming together, as they only allowed 63 yards versus Kent State.

Another thing that the Huskie nation can be excited for is the freshmen suiting up every weekend in red and black.

The success of a program obviously hinges on the talent that is coming up.

One of the fastest, and potentially exciting new Huskies is Tommylee Lewis, who was called to return kicks against Cal Poly and hasn’t looked back since.

The young Riveria Beach, Fla. native is a firecracker on the sideline as well as on the field, keeping the crowd and sidelines pumped up.

Calling up the freshman gave a little spark to the return team, and to give safety Tommy Davis a break due to the amount of time he was on field from playing defense.

There are many exciting factors that the NIU has on its side leading to the latter part of the season.

With the defense and offense clicking at the same time, this could spell bad news for the rest of the MAC West.