No rest for the Huskies despite day off

By Sean Ostruszka

There will be no sleeping in for the Huskies Saturday.

Despite not having a game, NIU football players won’t get to relax on their day off.

The football team and the cheerleading squad will run the “Huskie Hurricane Helpers” car wash from 9 a.m. to noon, at Castle Bank, 141 W. Lincoln Highway.

All proceeds from the car wash will go locally to Hope Haven, a program set up to help Gulf Coast residents who have been relocated to the DeKalb County area because of Hurricane Katrina.

“I think it’s a great idea,” runningback A. J. Harris said. “It’s the least we can do, spend three hours helping all the people who have been victimized by Hurricane Katrina. We’re all glad to help in any way.”

The team will also accept donations of new and old clothing, food, and money.


What looked like a runaway has turned into a two-horse race.

After two games, there was no rusher in the MAC within 100 yards of NIU’s Garrett Wolfe.

Two games later, Wolfe finds himself in second.

Central Michigan freshman Ontario Sneed’s 570 yards on the ground eclipsed Wolfe’s 505.

But while Sneed has racked up more yards, Wolfe still averages more per game.

The junior racks up 125.5 yards a game, while Sneed is second with a 114 yards-per-game average.

Sneed became the starter for CMU after Jerry Seymour was suspended from the team before the season. Seymour is currently facing second-degree murder charges.

Sneed was named the MAC West Offensive Player of the Week Monday.


Miami-Ohio receiver Martin Nance was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for offense Monday. Nance had his fourth consecutive game with at least 100 yards receiving as he totaled eight receptions for a season-high 119 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-16 win over Cincinnati.


NIU quarterback Phil Horvath probably sees Miami’s pass defense in his dreams.

The MAC’s second most proficient passer, Horvath will be going up against a Miami defense that surrenders 291 yards a game through the air (second worst in the MAC).

A run-first team in the past, NIU’s passing game has come forward in recent weeks.

NIU’s passing attack is fourth in the MAC and Horvath is coming off a career game at Akron. The junior completed 39-of-52 passes for 486 yards and six touchdowns.


Despite having one of the worst pass defenses, Miami still forces turnovers.

The Redhawks lead the MAC with a +5 turnover margin. The margin means Miami has forced five more turnovers than it has given up.

Of the team’s 11 turnovers, nine have come via interceptions, something NIU has not done.

The Huskies are dead last in the MAC with a -7 turnover margin.

NIU has yet to register an interception and have forced only three fumbles through four games.


When NIU takes the field against Miami Wednesday, it will mark the end of nine busy days for the MAC.

Eight days ago, Toledo took on Fresno State on ESPN2. The next day, Miami found itself on the same national channel against Cincinnati.

And finally NIU’s game.

Nine days, three nationally televised games. For a conference that doesn’t get a lot of national exposure, these nine days have been a long time coming.

No MAC team will be back on national television until Toledo travels to Ohio Nov. 4.