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Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Breaking down the Black Knights’ defense

By Matt Hopkinson | September 12, 2012

Defensive Line Army has no standout stud players on the defensive line, so it will be interesting to see what happens with NIU’s offensive play calling. If there is not a lot of pressure put on Jordan Lynch, the Huskies could opt to go for more passing...

Football shows balanced attack

Football shows balanced attack

By Matt Hopkinson | September 11, 2012

Last week, I opined that NIU’s offensive playcalling and playmaking abilities were one-dimensional. This week, it seemed anything but. In the match-up with Iowa, NIU did all they could to nearly pull off a victory, despite only having 55 yards passing....

NIU’s offense not one-dimensional

By Matt Hopkinson | September 9, 2012

Last week, I opined that NIU’s offensive playcalling and playmaking abilities were one-dimensional. This week, it seemed anything but. In the match-up with Iowa, NIU did all they could to nearly pull off a victory, despite only having 55 yards passing....

Huskie football: key players for Tennessee-Martin

By Matt Hopkinson | September 5, 2012

In the upcoming game against Tennessee-Martin, NIU football will be eager to get on the field to rebound after its loss last week. For NIU to be able to come up with a victory, it will obviously need to be a team effort all around. However, there will...

Huskies drop season opener to Hawkeyes

By Matt Hopkinson | September 1, 2012

For NIU football, the first home game was a story of two halves, or, more realistically, three and a half quarters. The Huskies (0-1) suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Iowa (1-0) by a score of 18-17, in the season opener at Soldier Field...

Northern Star File Photo

Story of the year for NIU sports

By Jimmy Johnson | May 6, 2012

Scott Wedige said it was a moment of disbelief. After kicker Mathew Sims nailed a 33-yard game winning field goal, the long road back to Detroit for NIU football was over: the Huskies had clinched their first MAC Championship in nearly 30 years. “The...

Lynch, Red team shine at spring football exhibition

By Jimmy Johnson | April 22, 2012

NIU football coach Dave Doeren said he wanted to see his starting offense jump to a fast start, and that’s exactly how the unit played Saturday during the controlled spring exhibition. Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch guided the Red team offense two...

Jordan Lynch runs with the ol pigskin at a spring practice for the NIU football team in Huskie Stadium Monday afternoon.

No more waiting for Lynch

By Jimmy Johnson | April 16, 2012

With wide receivers Perez Ashford, Martel Moore and left guard Logan Pegram returning, NIU football’s offense will feature plenty of new faces next season. However, there’s a face that should jog memories of a player who received modest playing time,...

NIUs wide-receiver Nathan Palmer 81 soars through the air
after catching a pass as Ball State linebacker Tony Martin 47
attempted to make a pick during the first half of the match up at
Huskie Stadium on Tuesday night. The Huskies would go on to defeat
Ball State 41-38 making it their sixth straight win.

Huskies kept the faith versus Cardinals

By Brian Belford | November 16, 2011

Exhausted and elated, Scott Wedige took hold of the rivalry trophy in both hands, lifted it above his head, and shouted triumphantly towards the night sky.Finally, it was over. After NIU scraped, clawed and chewed its way to a thrilling 41-38 victory...

NIU football breakdown: wide receivers

By Eli Gehn | August 23, 2011

DeKALB | The wide receiver position for the NIU football team is stacked with of plenty playmakers.The only player who isn't returning is Landon Cox, who is on the Cincinnati Bengals roster.The Huskies' receivers are expected to be the deepest set in...

Football practice notes: Weekend of April 8

By Jimmy Johnson | April 10, 2011

Without Devon Butler in as the starting middle linebacker, NIU head coach Dave Doeren gave two underclassmen the chance to step in. "[Mike Hellams was] a little bit ‘deer in the headlights,' but you could tell he was excited to be out there," Doeren...

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

NIU offensive breakdown

By Chris Dertz | August 29, 2010


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.


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.


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.


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.