NIU, USM square off for first time

By Brian Wiencek

Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois and Illinois State are the usual Homecoming teams of entertainment over the past 84 years.

However, this year the Huskies will try something different. For the first time since 1968, NIU will dip below the Mason-Dixon line for a Homecoming opponent.

In NIU’s 85th annual Homecoming, the Huskies will try to entertain the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi in the teams’ first-ever meeting for a 1:05 p.m. kickoff tomorrow at

Huskie Stadium.

USM returns just five starters from a year ago, but you would never think so after seeing its 3-2 record. Consider the fact that its three victories came against Louisiana Tech, Tulsa and Memphis State, while the two losses came at the hands of SEC powers Auburn and Alabama.

The Huskies aren’t the only ones suffering injuries to quarterbacks as the Golden Eagles have played two quarterbacks this year—sophomore Tommy Waters and freshman Aaron Hightower, who is slated to replace the injured Waters tomorrow.

NIU head coach Charlie Sadler and his squad will try to shake the memory of disturbing losses to Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee State and focus on the Golden Eagles.

“This is a good football team,” said Sadler. “People from the Midwest may not know about Southern Mississippi, but these guys line-up against Alabama and Auburn and compete.”