Cyclones turn NIU inside out


AMES, Iowa—The Huskies should be glad you can’t judge a book by its cover, because if you could, this football team is in for a long season.

The Huskies opened their season in Ames, Iowa where judging by the score, they were thrown into a whirlwind right out of Cyclone country.

The score was 54-10, and because of NIU’s lack of execution, rightfully so.

The game seemed to be going the way of the Huskies in the first quarter. The defense shut down the Cyclone attack by not allowing a point after one quarter. Huskie linebacker Larry Williams ran back a fumble recovery for a touchdown on the Cyclones first drive.

After leading 7-0 after the first quarter, the Huskies managed to keep it close trailing by seven at the half, 17-10.

The Huskies couldn’t put a net on Cyclone quarterback, Bob Utter, who completed 7 of 9 passes for 206 yards. Although seven completed passes does not seem like a lot, it was enough to put three touchdowns on the board. Touchdown passes for 46, 53, and 77 yards along with a 50 yard TD run on the QB keeper made Utter the definite MVP of the game.

Bob Utter isn’t the one who gave the Huskies the worst beating, however. Mistakes, penalties, and lack of execution is what killed the Huskies.

Head coach Charlie Sadler said that his team’s lack of execution is what disappointed him the most.

“You cannot play a team like Iowa State from their scheme standpoint and have execution errors like we had, because you become isolated in their attack,” Sadler said. “It makes you an individual playing against a scheme, and when you make execution errors, there is no one to cover up for you.”

Sadler also said that the score wound up the way it did because of blown coverages and penalties, both of which he refers to as execution errors.

As far as penalties go, the Huskies had 14 for 92 yards, which costed them important scoring opportunities.

The only highlights of the day were Scott Crabtree, and despite giving up a fumble for a touchdown, LeShon Johnson. Crabtree, who did a good job finding his receivers, completed 18 of 26 passes for 152 yards and threw no interceptions. Johnson ran for 102 yards, and had a 77-yard run called back because of holding.

“I think Scott played very well, and was one of the bright spots of the evening,” Sadler said. “(Crabtree and Johnson) played right at the level I expected they could.”

“(ISU) did not play harder than us. Our effort was good enough to win, and our players are good enough to win,” Sadler said.

It is easy to see that mistakes and execution errors killed the Huskies on Thursday night more than the Cyclones did. The big question in everyone’s mind is: what should we expect for the rest of the season?

“We have a team that has a good chance to do all right,” Sadler said.

It is true that the Huskies will not be facing an Iowa State every week, but there are enough teams to pose problems for the Huskie offense.

After an 11-day rest, the Huskies will travel to Bloomington to give the offense a chance to redeem themselves after not scoring a touchdown Thursday night.

The Huskies have never faced the Hoosiers, and have only beaten one Big Ten school in the school’s history. In 1988, NIU defeated Wisconsin 19-17. It is obvious that the favorite will not be the Huskies.