The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU players celebrate in front of their fans after their 41-23 victory over Kent State on Dec. 4 in Detroit. The Huskies become the first team in FBS history to win a conference championship game after going winless the year prior. (Wes Sanderson | Northern Star)

Huskies go from worst to first

James Krause, Sports Editor December 4, 2021

DETROIT — When NIU was voted to finish last in the conference, head coach Thomas Hammock had a message for his team. “We are the best team in the MAC until proven otherwise,” Hammock said. “Obviously, nobody has proven otherwise.” After...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. Brown and two other NFL players have been suspended immediately for three games by the league for violating COVID-19 protocols.

Top 3 NFL headlines of week 13

Skyler Kisellus, Assistant Sports Editor December 2, 2021

The first week of December brings plenty of NFL headlines as teams around the league look to make a final push for the postseason. NFL suspends two Buccaneers players, one free agent for COVID-19 violations The NFL announced Thursday that it had suspended...

Freshman running back Jay Ducker carries the ball during the first half of NIUs 34-26 victory against the Bowling Green Falcons, Saturday in Dekalb.

Hammock, Ducker among MAC honors

Northern Star Staff December 1, 2021

DeKALB — Head football coach Thomas Hammock and COVID-freshman running back Jay Ducker received conference honors from the Mid-American Conference Wednesday for their 2021 efforts. Hammock was named MAC Coach of the Year after improving the Huskies...

Head Coach Thomas Hammock observes NIUs practice Oct. 16, at Huskie Stadium.

COLUMN: No pressure on Huskies

James Krause, Sports Editor December 1, 2021

The last time head coach Thomas Hammock was in Detroit, it was for Mid-American Conference Media Day in July. Hammock’s Huskies team was voted to finish last in the MAC West division. NIU went on to upset Georgia Tech in their season opener, beat...

Red Black Football Podcast (MAC Championship vs. Kent State w/ Cole Tucker)

Red Black Football Podcast (MAC Championship vs. Kent State w/ Cole Tucker)

Northern Star Staff December 1, 2021

After missing a few key players in a 42-21 loss to Western Michigan, NIU hopes rest over the Thanksgiving holiday rehabs and reenergizes the Huskies ahead of a championship battle in Detroit. Thomas Hammock returns to Detroit for the first time since...

Redshirt junior linebacker Dillon Thomas celebrates after a 34-26 win for NIU over Bowling Green Oct. 16 at Huskie Stadium.

Huskies head to Detroit for title game

James Krause, Sports Editor November 30, 2021

DeKALB — After going from worst to first in their division, the Huskies compete Saturday for the Mid-American Conference Championship against the Kent State University Golden Flashes at Ford Field in Detroit. NIU, entering with an 8-4 record, is...

Freshman quarterback Ethan Hampton rushes in the first half of NIUs 42-21 loss to Western Michigan on Nov. 23. Hampton passed for only 23 yards in his first collegiate start, filling in for an injured junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi.

Huskies lose to Broncos without starting passer

James Krause, Sports Editor November 23, 2021

DeKALB — Without starting junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi, the Huskies struggled to get in rhythm in their 42-21 regular season finale loss to the Western Michigan University Broncos on Tuesday. Head coach Thomas Hammock started freshman quarterback...

Red Black Football Podcast (vs. Western Michigan w/ Matt Ference)

Red Black Football Podcast (vs. Western Michigan w/ Matt Ference)

Northern Star Staff November 22, 2021

A fumble recovery and 25-yard touchdown run by Clint Ratkovich gave NIU the 33-27 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bulls to secure the Mid-American Conference West Division championship. The Huskies are heading to Detroit, but they have one more regular...

Redshirt senior linebacker Lance Deveaux Jr. rushes Buffalo junior quarterback Matt Myers in NIUs game against Buffalo on Nov. 17. Deveaux finished with 11 tackles, including a tackle for a loss.

Seniors, redemption motivating NIU versus WMU

James Krause, Sports Editor November 19, 2021

DeKALB — Even with a Mid-American Conference championship spot clinched, the Huskies have goals to reach in their regular season finale game against the Western Michigan University Broncos on Tuesday. With a victory over WMU, NIU can avenge each...

Redshirt senior running back Clint Ratkovich runs down the field during NIUs game on Sept. 11 at Huskie Stadium against Wyoming. Ratkovich has 12 touchdowns this season after transferring in from Western Illinois.

Ratkovich more than meets the eye

Skyler Kisellus, Assistant Sports Editor November 19, 2021

Calling redshirt senior Clint Ratkovich a running back doesn’t do him justice. Many have coined him as a “superback” who has made waves in his lone season starring in the offensive backfield for the Huskies. Ratkovich became the hero in Wednesday...

Junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi throws a pass in the first half of NIUs 33-27 overtime victory over Buffalo on Nov. 17.

COLUMN: ‘The dip’ a key factor in NIU rebound

James Krause, Sports Editor November 18, 2021

After answering a question at the post-game press conference Wednesday night following NIU’s win over the University at Buffalo Bulls, junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi shouts across the room to head coach Thomas Hammock. “We’re buying the dip,...

COVID-freshman linebacker Jaden Dolphin wraps up Buffalo junior quarterback Matt Myers for a sack during NIUs 33-27 victory over the Bulls on Nov. 17 in Buffalo, New York.

Huskies clinch MAC West in OT

James Krause, Sports Editor November 17, 2021

At a glance Ratkovich scores two touchdowns, game-winner in overtime Defense capitalizes on botch Buffalo snap Huskies secure spot in Mid-American Conference Championship Game in Detroit DeKALB — The Huskies beat the University at...

Load More Stories