Huskies hungry for victory against Central Michigan

By Eli Gehn

It’s been nearly six seasons since NIU has won at Central Michigan.

With the Huskies heading into MAC conference play Saturday against the Chippewas, they’re looking to finally end their losing streak at Mt. Pleasant.

“It’s definitely something that is one of our goals,” said NIU starting quarterback Chandler Harnish. “No one on our team has ever won at Central [Michigan]… to win in Mt. Pleasant would be huge.”

It wasn’t too long ago that the Chippewas were on top of the MAC conference. Central Michigan last won the conference title in 2009, when it boasted a record of 12-2, including an 8-0 record in MAC play.

The Chippewas have won three out of the last five MAC conference titles in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

A big part of Central Michigan’s success during those golden years was the play of former quarterback Dan LeFevour.

He led them to those MAC titles during his four years of play.

LeFevour holds the Chippewa record for career touchdowns with 150.

“He was a great player,” said NIU defensive end Sean Progar. “I played against him when I was a redshirt freshman; he tore us apart.”

With a LeFevour-less Central Michigan team, the Huskies will look to build on the 33-7 victory they had last season at Huskie Stadium.

Before last season’s win, the Huskies were on a three-game losing streak to the Chippewas.

Before the losing streak, NIU had nine straight wins against the MAC foe.

Central Michigan was an impressive team from 2006 to 2009.

“The past few times we played them [at Mt. Pleasant], I think they won MAC Championships every time,” said Huskies linebacker Pat Schiller. “I don’t think the environment had anything to do with [the losses]; rather just Central Michigan had some good teams those years.”

This is an important game to the NIU’s senior-led offense.

The team never has won at Central Michigan, and it will focus on finally getting over that hump.

“I think our offense knows that we have a lot of seniors on that side of the ball, and none of them have won there,” said Huskies head coach Dave Doeren. “That’s a goal that class has. We’re a senior-led team on offense, so it’s good to have them at that focus right away.”