Huskies hoping to stop injuries


Injuries are a part of life for every football team and NIU is hopeful that this unfortunate problem doesn’t determine the outcome Thursday night.

Offensively for the Huskies, they will be missing three offensive lineman who were in the two-deep. This is a key formation in which Crabtree will need ample time before he unloads the ball.

Back-up center Eric Hays, right guard Joe Patterson and back-up tackle Matt Clarkson will not make the trip to Ames for Thursday’s game, and may not be healthy for the meeting with Indiana next Saturday.

Also not making the trip to Ames are three defensive linemen including starting nose gaurd, Jerry Manuel, who may also miss next week’s game in Bloomington.

Head Coach Charlie Sadler doesn’t think the injuries, although key, are not going to affect the team in a big way.

“We have a few more injuries than what we would like to have,” Sadler said. “But we’ll be O.K. It will be a testament to the fact that we have developed enough as a program, and an injury here, and an injury there shouldn’t affect the team”.

Of course key injuries are going to affect a team in a big way, but the Huskies offensive line should still be strong enough to make holes for LeShon Johnson and give Scott Crabtree enough time to throw the ball. NIU was working out of the shotgun last spring, and if necessary it could be used to allow Crabtree more time to see the field.

The worst the Huskies could hope for is a serious injury to Crabtree. As far as quarterbacks go the Huskies have only one with a significant amount of experience. The next available quarterback is sophomore, Ron Reichert, who did not throw one pass last year.

As long as the Huskies can keep away from season-ending injuries with their key players, they will be able to prove the strength and depth they possess as a team on both sides of the football. A gift they have not had in many years.