Kill made right call on two-point conversion

By Chris Dertz

CHAMPAIGN | After the NIU football team had scored what seemed to be a game-tying touchdown against Illinois this weekend, the Huskies fell to a two-point conversion gone awry.

The Huskies lined up with one down lineman, quarterback Chandler Harnish directly behind him and three and six “receivers” split to his right and left, respectively.

The conversion failed, and because of that, the critics of head coach Jerry Kill’s decision making will likely be many and loud.

“NIU could have been tied at seven. The game could have been tied in the fourth quarter.” This is what they’ll say.

That’s not what I’m going to be saying, though. That first point-after try may not have seemed like it at the time, but it was a big moment in defining the character of both this team and coaching staff.

After the game, Kill equated the decision to not laying up in a game of golf. If you don’t know anything about golf, know that laying up is like taking a knee at the end of a game, when everyone knows you should be throwing the Hail Mary, up 17 points.

Kill wanted to come out of the gates swinging, hoping the first of the two-point conversion would connect squarely on the lip of the Illini.

Sometimes your punches just don’t land.

I’d like to commend both the team and the coaching staff for having the guts to make that call. You can’t be conservative when you’re going into a hostile environment like that.

Consider this: Kill had just gotten out of the hospital, was feeling particularly frisky, and all “each game matters” talk aside, knew this was a huge game for NIU.

Good for him for trusting his team enough to make such a risky call early in the game. I wouldn’t place much trust in the Huskies’ kicking game right now, anyway.