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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU football: Trio of Huskies honored by National Football Foundation

By Northern Star staff | April 30, 2015

Seniors Luke Eakes, Jason Meehan and Rob Sterling gained membership in the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for 2015, the National Football Foundation announced Wednesday.The NFF recognizes college football seniors across all divisions...

NIU football plays the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Boca Raton Bowl.

NIU football: Huskies lead conference with 14 students on Academic All-MAC team

By Northern Star staff | January 27, 2015

NIU football placed a school-record and conference-leading 14 student-athletes on the 2014 Academic All-MAC team, which was released by the league office Tuesday.NIU and the Central Michigan Chippewas led the MAC with 14 selections apiece. The Bowling...

MAC title match not a revenge game

By Frank Gogola | December 2, 2014

Football has its sights set solely on the Bowling Green Falcons, but it’s not with an eye on revenge.The Huskies (10-2, 7-1 MAC) and the Falcons (7-5, 5-3 MAC) square off 6 p.m. Friday at Ford Field in Detroit in the Marathon MAC Championship game for...

Football better prepared for Babers 2nd time around

By Frank Gogola | December 2, 2014

Football’s struggles against last season’s Dino Babers-coached Eastern Illinois Panthers should help this year’s squad be better prepared for the fast-paced offense it’ll face against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Marathon MAC Championship...

NIU football players celebrate in the locker room after beating the Western Michigan Broncos Friday at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. NIU won, 31-21.

NIU football takes down Western Michigan Broncos in comeback

By Frank Gogola | November 30, 2014

Football knew it had what it took to come back from a 21-10 halftime deficit against the Western Michigan Broncos to seal its fifth-straight trip to the MAC Championship game.The Huskies (10-2, 6-1 MAC) scored the game’s final 24 points, including 21...

Redshirt senior tailback Cameron Stingily rushes down the field Tuesday at Huskie Stadium against the Toledo Rockets. The Huskies used two second-half touchdowns from Stingily to help secure a significant victory in the MAC standings.

Football notches signature win

By Frank Gogola | November 12, 2014

Football did more in its win over the Toledo Rockets than position itself on the inside track to play in the MAC Championship game: It showed this year’s team deserves to make what has become an annual trek to Detroit.The Huskies (8-2, 5-1 MAC) showed...

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Drew Hare rushes the ball Saturday in the game against Miami (Ohio).

NIU football gears up for ‘dogfight’ vs. Rockets

By Frank Gogola | November 11, 2014

Football and the Toledo Rockets face off in a mid-week matchup with the winner positioning themselves in the driver’s seat to win the MAC West.The Huskies (7-2, 4-1 MAC) host the Rockets (6-3, 5-0 MAC) 7 p.m. today at Huskie Stadium.The Huskies have...

Ask an Athlete: Football

By Frank Gogola | October 20, 2014

What is your major?

Redshirt senior free safety Dechane Durante: General studies

Redshirt junior middle linebacker Boomer Mays: Corporate communication

Senior defensive end Jason Meehan: Business

Junior strong safety Marlon Moore: Sociology

What is your favorite movie?

Durante: “Kill Bill”

Mays: “The Warriors”

Meehan: “Casablanca”

Moore: “Friday”

Who is your favorite music artist/band?

Durante: Lil Wayne

Mays: Jay-Z

Meehan: Big K.R.I.T.

Moore: Too many to choose just one

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Durante: TGI Fridays

Mays: Red Lobster

Meehan: Tapa La Luna

Moore: Golden Corral

Meehan mastering art of football

By Frank Gogola | September 29, 2014

Senior defensive end Jason Meehan’s foray into martial arts was part of a family affair, and he’s seen that experience pay off on the football field.Jason Meehan’s dad, Justin Meehan, is a world-renowned Chinese martial artist. A lawyer by trade,...

Football facing Rebels with a cause

By Frank Gogola | September 10, 2014

Football prepares to battle the Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels (1-1) and the dry heat when it lands down in Las Vegas in the midst of its three-game, non-conference road trip.The Huskies (2-0) will take on the Rebels 6 p.m. Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. The...

Football’s goals remain the same

By Frank Gogola | August 27, 2014

Talk last season by fans and media alike revolved around the possibility of NIU crashing the Bowl Championship Series party for the second straight year.And why not? The Huskies were coming off an Orange Bowl berth, had a future first-round pick in playmaking...

Junior running back Cameron Stingily (42) stiff arms the Toledo defense during Wednesday night’s game.  NIU won, 35-17, taking the MAC West title. It will head to the MAC Championship game for the fourth season in a row.

Breaking Down the Huskies

By Frank Gogola | August 26, 2014

Quarterback: Without a doubt, the difference maker for the Huskies is senior Jordan Lynch. As he goes, the Huskies offense goes.

Lynch produced one of the most historic seasons in college football history last season, becoming the only quarterback to run for more than 1,500 yards as well as throw the ball for more than 3,000 yards. Going into this season, Lynch looks to continue that success starting with Iowa. In the season opener against Iowa last year, it was Lynch’s first collegiate start and was seemingly one-dimensional, relying heavily on the running game. Lynch is a different quarterback than he was then so expect him to exploit the Iowa defense throw the air as well as on the ground for big plays.

Running back: Senior Akeem Daniels has had trouble staying on the field due to nagging injuries. Cue junior Cameron Stingily as he is expected to get the start and carry the workload for the Huskies. Stingily came into NIU as a middle linebacker but last season he was converted to running back. Stingily does not have a lot of experience under as belt as last season he made one carry for 5 yards. But he will be a strong addition to the run game as a power back, something the Huskies have lacked the last few of seasons. You can expect Stingily to pound the ball right up the middle and fight for every extra yard.

Wide receiver: Junior TommyLee Lewis comes in this season as the most experienced wide receiver on the team. He will need to step up to fill the void left by former receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford. With Lewis generally playing in the slot, he creates mismatches for defenses with his speed and is able to create a number of big play opportunities. He can make big plays by stretching the defense or catching short passes and running for big gains after the catch. Last season, Lewis made 48 receptions for 539 yards and five touchdowns.

Offensive line: Protecting the quarterback’s blind side may be the most important job for the offensive line. That’s why junior left tackle Tyler Loos will be such a factor against Iowa as well as the rest of the season. Last season, Loos and the offensive line did a great job of protecting Lynch’s blind side and they only gave up eight sacks all season. Loos and the line not only kept Lynch off the ground but they opened up numerous, gaping holes for Lynch and others to run through for big gains. If Loos and the rest of the line are able to contain Iowa’s bigger defensive line, the Huskies’ offense should thrive in Iowa City.

Defensive line: Last season in the Huskies’ matchup against the Hawkeyes, the Huskies recorded six sacks. Senior Joe Windsor led the Huskies that game with his two big sacks for a loss of 19 yards in limited action. In a backup role all season, Windsor made a case that he could even be a starting defensive end as he was third on the team with seven sacks. With Windsor’s speed around the edge he is a constant threat, and he should put a lot of pressure on Iowa’s new starting quarterback, Jake Rudock. Now that Windsor will start, expect to hear his name called a lot.

Linebacker: Junior Jamaal Bass is someone who just has a nose for the football. You can expect him to be around the ball at all times making big tackles left and right. Last season, Bass was third on the team with 83 tackles, 45 of them solo. He was behind senior defensive back Jimmie Ward and former linebacker Tyrone Clark. With the departure of Clark and his 86 tackles from last season, Bass becomes the leader of the line backing core. Bass doesn’t come in as the biggest guy on the field, standing at 5’10”, 225 pounds, but he makes up for it with his speed and ability to cover the field.

Defensive Back: The leader of the defensive backs and defense falls on senior Jimmie Ward.

Last season, Ward did it all for the Huskies. He led the team in tackles by recording 104 and 65 of them solo. His mentality for each game is to record at least 10 tackles a game and he prides himself on making big stops. He was also a ball hawk in coverage for the Huskies, leading the team with three interceptions and was second with 11 pass breakups. You can expect Ward to continue flying around the field this season recording tackle after tackle.

Special teams: Coach Rod Carey has said the keys to victory against Iowa are to have good ball control and a strong kicking game.

Although not really needed for anything more than extra points last season, senior kicker Mathew Sims has been more than reliable. Last season he went 15-19 on field goals. He’s also proven his clutch factor as he made one of the biggest kicks in NIU history, a 40-yard field goal against Kent State in the MAC Championship to tie the game and send it into double overtime. Sims has also proven he can be good from beyond 50 or more yards as he hit a 54 yard field goal against Western Michigan last season.