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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

Senior forward Brooke Stonebraker shoots a jump hook over an Eastern Illinois University opponent on Dec. 18, 2023. Stonebraker is currently second in the MAC in rebounds and third among forwards in points per game. (Northern Star file photo)

Frequent miscues bring down women’s basketball in Toledo

By Lucas Didier, Sports Editor | January 24, 2024

NIU women’s basketball (9-9, 3-4 MAC) suffered from continuous mistakes to fall to University of Toledo (13-4, 6-1 MAC) by a score of 72-52. NIU is now 1-7 on the road this season with six away games left to play in 2024. The Huskies started strong,...

Corey Lersch, redshirt junior tight end, makes a tackle on special teams Oct. 26 during NIUs 49-0 victory against the University of Akron at Huskie Stadium.

Huskies take break to ramp up intensity in preparation for Toledo

By James Krause | November 11, 2019

Corey Lersch, redshirt junior tight end, makes a tackle on special teams Oct. 26 during NIU's 49-0 victory against the University of Akron at Huskie Stadium.

The Huskies celebrate after a win Saturday against Ball State. They’ve now won five games in a row and 12 of their last 14, giving them first place in the MAC West.

Volleyball bumps win streak up to 5 games

By Danielle Brown | November 9, 2015

Volleyball (16-10, 12-2 MAC) took on Toledo and Ball State over the weekend and defeated both teams 3-0, pushing its win streak to five games.ToledoThe Huskies led the first set 15-8 early on. NIU’s defense had really progressed. Toledo struggled to...

Huskies to move on without Hare

By Christopher Loggins | November 5, 2015

Football won bowl eligibility in a 32-27 victory against No. 20 Toledo, but lost two of its biggest offensive players in the process, placing questions around the remainder of the season.NIU lost junior quarterback Drew Hare and senior wide receiver Tommylee...

Breaking Down Toledo

By Thomas Hiley | October 29, 2015

Sports writer Thomas Hiley breaks down the key players for the Rockets as they prepare to take on the Huskies at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio. The Huskies have defeated Toledo five straight times dating back to the 2009-10 season, when the Rockets won a 20-19 affair against NIU.


Toldeo star senior quarterback Phillip Ely has led his team to an undefeated season at 7-0 and ranked at number 20 in the college rankings. This is the most he has played after missing some of last season due to a knee injury and sitting out the year before in 2013 after transferring from Alabama and having to redshirt. Ely has started in all seven games this season, throwing for 15 touchdowns on only seven interceptions. He has completed 61 percent of his passes for 682 yards and nine touchdowns on 3 interceptions in his last two starts against Eastern Michigan and Massachusetts. Ely currently averages 247.7 yards through the air for the Rockets.

Running back

Sophomore running back Terry Swanson is the leading rusher for the Rockets with 595 yards and five rushing touchdowns after a slow start — he missed the first game and had just one carry in the second. Swanson was listed as the number three running back on the depth chart coming into this season, but somehow found his way as the leading rusher, running for over 100 yards in three of the five games that he has played this season. This season has been a strong leap for Swanson from last season when he rushed for 732 yards, good for second for the Rockets and 10th in the MAC and averaging 6.5 yards-per-carry which was 15th in the country.

Offensive Line

The Rockets offensive line has been exceptional this year, not allowing a single sack on their starting quarterback Phillip Ely. The o-line has kept its starting quarterback upright, allowing him to make the plays necessary for the team to win. The Rockets have the second highest rushing attack in the MAC behind the Huskies at 213.1 due to the play of the offensive line, and the fourth ranked passing attack with 257.9 yards, giving them a very balanced offense.

Defensive Line

Senior defensive tackle Orion Jones, who was a second-team All-MAC selection last year, has been a workhouse for the Rockets’ defense. Jones has already come close to his season total from a year ago this year — he has totaled 33 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks on the season in only seven games. The Huskies’ offensive line will have trouble if it isn’t able to contain Jones as he is a force to be reckoned with and can take junior quarterback Drew Hare out of the pocket.


Redshirt junior linebacker Jaylen Coleman has become the No. 1 will-linebacker for the Rockets after being a reserve linebacker in the 2014 season. He came up with only 23 tackles last season and has already surpassed that this season with 48, the most on the Rockets defense. He also has been able to get to the quarterback, picking up 2.5 sacks on the year with one interception and one forced fumble.


Redshirt senior cornerback Cheatham Norrils missed the entire 2014 season due to a viral illness, but has been able to start in every game this season for the Rockets. Norrils is the third leading tackler on the team through seven games. He’s been a shut-down corner whenever the ball comes his direction, causing eight breakups and eight pass deflections. Norrils has also been able to come from the secondary to rush the quarterback for 3.5 sacks on the season.

Undefeated Toledo ahead for streaking football

By Patrick Smith | October 29, 2015

Football (5-3, 3-1 MAC) will get back on the road to face undefeated Toledo (7-0, 4-0 MAC) Tuesday.The Rockets and Huskies rank second and third in the MAC in points-per-game, respectively. The Rockets lead the MAC in points allowed, giving up only 16.3...

Sophomore midfielder Lauren Gierman awaits the ball in a Sept. 25 game against Toledo. Gierman scored both goals in the game for the Huskies, giving her a second two-goal game in her career.

Gierman’s two-goal game completes weekend sweep

By Raven Boyd | September 28, 2015

Women’s soccer (2-7-0, 1-1-0 MAC) went head-to-head with the Toledo Rockets and the Central Michigan Chippewas last weekend, defeating Toledo and losing to Central Michigan.ToledoThe Huskies took down the Rockets 2-0 in game one, granting them their...

NIU men’s golf: Huskies face Big Ten, MAC opponents at Boilermaker Invitational

By Steve Shonder | April 17, 2015

Men's golf will try to get momentum in its last tournament before the MAC Championships.The Huskies will get their shot in the Boilermaker Invitational on Saturday and Sunday on the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette,...

NIU men’s tennis: Huskies extend win streak to 3, prepare for Buffalo

By Patrick Smith | April 13, 2015

Men’s tennis extended their win streak to three games as they took down conference opponent the Toledo Rockets on Saturday.The Huskies (17-5, 3-1MAC) defeated the Rockets (11-14, 1-2 MAC) 5-2 on Saturday in Toledo, Ohio.“We set the tone [Saturday]...

NIU softball: Huskies sweeps Saturday doubleheader against Akron Zips

By Chris Loggins | March 30, 2015

Softball swept a Saturday doubleheader against the Akron Zips after a scheduled Friday doubleheader against the Ohio Bobcats was canceled due to poor weather conditions.The Huskies (15-13, 2-0 MAC) beat the Zips (12-13, 0-2 MAC), 9-1, in six innings in...

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...

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Drew Hare (12) carries the ball during his 78-yard touchdown run on the Huskies’ first series of the game. The Huskies ran for 332 yards while passing for only 54 yards Saturday at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Mich., against the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

Rapid reaction: Football 27, Toledo Rockets 24

By Frank Gogola | November 11, 2014

What happened: The Huskies (8-2, 5-1 MAC) beat the Toledo Rockets (6-4, 5-1 MAC) for the fifth-straight season, 27-24, Tuesday at Huskie Stadium.How it happened: The NIU offense jumped to a 10-0 lead 10 minutes into the first quarter as the defense forced...