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Saunders

** 2017 Opponent Previews: Northern Illinois (Game 3) **

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Saunders    6,112

SBNation: Why NIU football collapsed in 2016 and could bounce back in 2017

In 2017, NIU returns three of last year’s four quarterbacks (including Maddie, who was granted a medical redshirt), a running back who averaged 6 yards per carry, an all-conference offensive tackle, and all of a decent secondary. There are questions — the receiving corps and defensive front seven have some retooling, and, uh, can a QB remain upright? — but we might not yet have seen the death rattle of the NIU era.

2017 projected record & S&P+ Ranking: 6-6 (86th)

Biggest strength: Maddie and running back Jordan Huff are one hell of a dangerous backfield. And if or when Maddie gets hurt (as is custom for NIU QBs), there’s experience behind him.

Biggest question mark: NIU’s defense surged but now has to almost completely rebuild its front seven. The secondary could be great, but that only matters if you can force opponents to pass.

Biggest 2017 game: NIU gets an excellent chance to prove last year’s struggles are over when Boston College comes to town in Week 1 (Sept. 1).

Summary:

After going 65-16 from 2010 to late-2015, NIU has since gone 5-10. But the Huskies won four of five to finish 2016, and one of these years might actually be able to keep a QB healthy. Don’t write them off just yet.

Read the awesome in depth preview here: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/3/28/15055180/northern-illinois-football-2017-preview-schedule-roster

CollegeFootballNews.com

When it comes to down years, it’s possible to do a whole lot worse.

 

Northern Illinois is only a year removed from winning the MAC West and playing in its sixth straight conference title game. With a little bit of a break – and maybe some luck – it’s possible to bounce right back.

 

So you think one bad season is going to really be the end of a powerhouse?

 

The program – in a perfect world – would like to be in the hunt for a bigger conference and a bigger payday, so it doesn’t have to take on the paycheck games like the one it signed on for against Florida State in 2018.

 

In a dream world, the Big 12 would wake up and realize it might like the greater Chicagoland market, but for the moment, NIU would simply like the state of Illinois to figure out its own budget issues so there’s more money for other parts of the school and the programs.

 

Or, simply getting a full year out of a healthy starting quarterback would be a nice way to get back to MAC prominence.

 

Full Preview: http://collegefootballnews.com/2017/preview-2017-northern-illinois-needs-a-break

2017 Northern Illinois Preview: What You Need To Know

2017 Northern Illinois Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

 

HuskerOnline: Spring Opponent Preview - Northern Illinois

 

To get a feel for where the Huskies stand heading into their sixth season under head coach Rod Carey, we spoke with the DeKalb (Ill.) Daily Chronicle's Jesse Severson to get his thoughts and perspective on the team and what to expect once the season gets underway in a few months.

 

Overall 2017 win-loss expectation

“It’s interesting, because last year they went 5-7 and that was kind of an underachieving season. If you look at who was graduating, you sort of felt like this coming season was going to be the 5-7 season.

 

"Last year they had a lot of close losses and were probably better than 5-7, and this year definitely feels like a transitional season. I think if they get to five wins that would actually be surprising.

 

"At NIU, it’s a lot of just trust the foundation, trust the organization of the machine of Northern Illinois, because they’ve pumped out so many strong seasons in the past. But with coach Rod Carey sort of on the hot seat and the question mark at quarterback, I would be surprised if they make a bowl game.”

 

https://nebraska.rivals.com/news/opponent-spring-review-northern-illinois

 

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seaofred92    1,306

This game scares me. Besides last year, these guys have been really really solid and made a freaking BCS game a few years back. Right after Oregon game and right before B1G play. Hate scheduling these types of games. If were playing G5 teams would rather play the NMSU, Hawaii, Charlotte, and Georgia State's of the world than the NIU, Fresno State, Air Force's that are more competitive and have a chance to win.

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spurs1990    608

This game scares me. Besides last year, these guys have been really really solid and made a freaking BCS game a few years back. Right after Oregon game and right before B1G play. Hate scheduling these types of games. If were playing G5 teams would rather play the NMSU, Hawaii, Charlotte, and Georgia State's of the world than the NIU, Fresno State, Air Force's that are more competitive and have a chance to win.

Looks like a more competitive game on the resume. I'm glad they are challenging themselves and not scheduling just straight pud games. Early strong competition prepares the team for Big Ten play. The fear of losing shouldn't dictate scheduling.

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fwhuskerfan    14
From Bill Connelly's twitter this morning, sounds like the waiver was denied for the QB.
Timing: Between when I prepped this piece and when I wrote it, Anthony Maddie was denied his 6th year after all. REWRITING. Grr.
Alright! A new, accurate NIU preview is up! I'm still semi-optimistic about them ... though not *quite* as much.

 

 

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niu007    0

Although NIU has plenty of question marks, I think Severson is a little too pessimistic about not getting 5 wins. We play Eastern Illinois, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Ball State. Even being pessimistic we should win 4 of those and probably one or two other games on the schedule. We won 2 games last year with Santacaterina at QB and he was #4 on the depth chart. Although I hope Ryan Graham doesn't get the QB spot since we've seen what he can do and it isn't much. If the other guys are worse than him, then I agree with Severson. But I don't think they are - at a minimum they have a much higher ceiling.

 

Not a good year for us to play Nebraska though. If QB Childers or Santacaterina can prove they can pass decently, they are good enough runners to manage our type of offense pretty well at least. Childers did fairly well in the spring game but is a RS freshman - very mobile though. Santa can run, not sure about passing yet. Huff looks like the real deal at RB. For pure running he's much better than the guy he's replacing.

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BoneyardHusker    775

Get this; Northern Illinois has been to a BCS bowl game more recently then Nebraska. Goodness gracious.

 

I'll never predict a Nebraska loss, but with that in mind my prediction for this game is Nebraska 42 N.Illinois 38

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commando    1,485
41 minutes ago, Caliborn72 said:

Their back-up looked good in the win. 23/34 252yrds 3TDs/1INT.

 

that looks like a typical 1st half against nebraska this year.   lol

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NebraskaHarry    711

This is a game where the score shouldn't even be close. Northern Illinois should be in it for no more than half the first quarter before Nebraska opens it up. That said, probably gonna be close all the way to middle of 4th quarter before it feels comfortable that Nebraska will win. 

 

I just want to see a well executed game on offense, defense, and special teams. Seems like forever that Nebraska was ever clicking on all phases at same time.

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Mavric    9,752

Husker coaches repeatedly talking about how we'll see a lot of the same things this weekend.  Spread formations.  RPOs.  Personnel packages that would usually indicate Nickel or Dime personnel.

 

I guess we'll see if we adjust to anything or just keep insisting that the system will work (and complaining about the rules being unfair).

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NUinID    656
48 minutes ago, IA State Husker said:

 

Holly Sonders is a plus.... 

 

I didn't know she did football sideline stuff.  I only thought she did golf.  She is very nice looking.  :D

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457
12 hours ago, NUinID said:

 

I didn't know she did football sideline stuff.  I only thought she did golf.  She is very nice looking.  :D

 

Yup.  I think FOXsn just hired her.  Between the B1G promo and this Hire, I'm starting to think that FOX "gets it" with regard to college football...  yes, that's kinda sexist, but Holly is a major smokeshow.  Sue me.

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Red Five    3,223
18 hours ago, Mavric said:

Husker coaches repeatedly talking about how we'll see a lot of the same things this weekend.  Spread formations.  RPOs.  Personnel packages that would usually indicate Nickel or Dime personnel.

 

I guess we'll see if we adjust to anything or just keep insisting that the system will work (and complaining about the rules being unfair).

 

I'm sure we'll keep our "base" 3-4 out there, with Newby playing in no man's land and our CBs 10 yards off the WRs.

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