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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Landon Cox leads a young receiving group for the Huskies to look toward this year.

NIU offensive breakdown

By Chris Dertz | August 29, 2010

QB

Phil Horvath is gone and so are the quarterback controversies of last year, as this is clearly Dan Nicholson's team.

The junior from Brother Rice high school has two years experience under his belt, including a 2005 season in which he took over for an injured Horvath and led the team to three straight victories.

Last year, Nicholson played in seven games and threw for 658 yards and five touchdowns but with six interceptions.

Grade: B-

He has experience but this is the year he needs to show what he's made of.

RB

The running back position has always been a point of pride at NIU.Every few years, one star leaves and another emerges.

This year, Coach Novak will take a running back-by-committee approach to start off the season to see who can replace Garrett Wolfe.

Junior Montell Clanton has been named the starter for the opener against Iowa but

Justin Anderson will see significant time and true freshman Chad Spann figures to see some action.

Clanton is coming off an season-ending injury last year and will have to prove he can stay healthy. Anderson has the strength and speed but like the rest of the backs, but is unproven, having only 25 carries last season. Spann turned heads in camp but is probably a year or two away.

Grade: C-

The potential is there, it just needs to be displayed. Under Wolfe, the Huskies lost four fumbles, the second lowest total in D 1-A. This group also needs to prove they can hang onto the ball.

OL

Doug Free is gone and the offensive line is a huge concern heading into this season.

However, three starters from last year return in center Eddie Adamski, right guard Jason Onyebuagu, and the lone senior of the unit, left tackle Chris Acevedo. Junior Jon Brost is expected to start at right tackle and has the most career starts of the group.

Tim Mayerbock is expected to get the start at left guard. The redshirt sophomore played in the last 10 games of 2006 but is the most inexperienced of the group.

Grade: C-

Very talented group but young. The lack of experience may contribute to them getting worn out too soon, setting up for quite an interesting fourth quarter.

WR

This looks to be a strong point for NIU this season. Junior's Britt Davis and Marcus Perez both started and were the leading receivers from a year ago.

Everyone is still waiting for Davis to break-out and reach his full potential. Junior Matt Simon played in all 13 games last year and was the third-leading receiver.

Junior Greg Turner has impressed former Huskie and current wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck as more of a possession-type of receiver. Also, Freshman Landon Cox will also look to make an immediate impact.

Grade: B-

Talented and fast. Younger guys need to step up and help out Davis, Perez and Simon to solidify the corps.

Harnish looks for fresh start

By Jimmy Johnson | August 19, 2010

The battle has already begun for Chandler Harnish. Despite being listed as the backup quarterback on the preseason depth chart, the redshirt junior is looking forward to getting on the field and winning back the starting signal caller spot. Harnish suffered...