NIU football found their swagger against North Dakota

By Jerry Burnes

DeKALB | There was a pulse in Huskie Stadium on Saturday night against North Dakota- the NIU football team, for the most part, found its swagger.

The final score didn’t tell the whole story, but the fact NIU posted 510 yards of total offense is a far cry from the ineffective, lackluster showing against Iowa State.

It’s hard to tell if it was a different attitude, or Chandler Harnish back under center, but the Huskies looked like a different team facing the Fighting Sioux.

With a different-looking team on the field, it’s hard to buy into some optimism as the team pushes toward facing Illinois next week.

The Huskies didn’t punt until the third quarter, and every drive but one in the first half gave them a chance to score. On an overall basis, the offense just worked on Saturday.

It wasn’t all good though. Before I fully reinstate the Huskies’ swagger, they need to capitalize in the redzone.

For the game, Jerry Kill’s crew was 2-for-4 in the redzone, but the team struggled to punch it in. That’s a trend that can’t continue going into road games against Illinois and Minnesota.

“We were the No. 2 team in the country last year in the redzone,” Kill said after Saturday’s game. “That’s a mentality. We’re going to get that mentality taken care of, I can tell you that.”

That mentality is swagger. Most of NIU’s offense has found it’s swagger. Time for the redzone offense to find its own.