Created:Monday, September 14, 2009 10:44 p.m.CDT
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Safety Bryant will be ready for Purdue

By JOHN SAHLY - jsahly@daily-chronicle.com
Northern Illinois safety David Bryant (4) races in for a tackle against Wisconsin. (Beck Diefenbach - bdiefenbach@daily-chronicle.com)

Safety David Bryant will be ready to go for Saturday’s game at Purdue, Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said during Monday’s MAC coaches teleconference.

Bryant, who sprained an ankle a week-and-a-half before the Wisconsin game, was held out of NIU’s 41-7 victory this past Saturday against Western Illinois as a precautionary measure.

“We held him out last week. We didn’t have to,” Kill said. “But we talked before the game and said if we could get going in the game we would try and let him heal up to where he was 100 percent instead of 90 percent.

“We were fortunate enough that we were able to get away with it. And he’ll be ready to go against Purdue.”

In Bryant’s absence, safety Mike Sobol stepped up his play against the Leathernecks. Although he didn’t get credit for it on the stat sheet, Sobol had a hand in a couple of Western Illinois turnovers.

“He had a good game,” Kill said. “He played very well. He tackled well. He caused some turnovers. He played very aggressive.”

Kill also offered a scouting report on the Boilermakers, singling out running back Ralph Bolden, who already has rushed for 357 yards.

“They have a tremendous running back,” Kill said. “I’ve got a great deal of respect for him. He is a very, very good football player.”

Jarvis out for season: Kent State head coach Doug Martin announced at his weekly Monday news conference that fifth-year senior running back Eugene Jarvis suffered a season-ending kidney injury in the first half of Saturday’s game at Boston College.

Jarvis will be in the hospital for about a week and is expected to make a full recovery in 6-8 weeks.

“Eugene is a special player…he’s a good kid,” Martin said. “I’m just really thankful that we did not put him back in the game. I can’t say enough about our trainer Pamela Long and the job she did of holding him out. He was ready to fight us both at halftime to get back in the game.

“He’s as tough a football player as I’ve ever been around and this is going to be real hard on him sitting around watching 11 football games. He’ll be here as a leader and he’ll come out of it stronger on the other side.”

Jarvis’ 3,426 career rushing yards rank fourth in school history. The university will reportedly ask the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Jarvis.

Big weekend: The MAC had one of its better weekends in recent memory against BCS schools with Central Michigan going to Michigan State and engineering a come-from-behind, 29-27, victory and Toledo beating up on Colorado at home, 54-38.

Bowling Green also had a close loss to Missouri. Northwestern needed a last-second field goal to beat Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan lost by four points at Indiana.

Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour joined the teleconference and talked about the Chippewas’ big victory.

“Just learning about this game from some guys that used to play here and some guys that are from the Lansing [Mich.] area on our team that know people on Michigan State’s team, I know they wanted to win just from growing up with some of those guys,” LeFevour said. “For a lot of reasons, it was a great victory.”

Toledo coach Tim Beckman, coming off his own signature win, watched the Chippewas’ win the day after his Rockets beat Colorado.

“What a great win by Butch [Jones] and his staff,” Beckman said.

MAC season begins: Although Northern Illinois still has two non-conference games before opening up its portion of the conference season against Western Michigan, the Broncos will begin the conference season on Saturday with a home game against Miami (Ohio).

“I know for us our non-conference schedule has always been very tough,” Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit said. “... People are looking forward to it here and I’m sure Miami is the same way. They’ve had two tough opponents. I don’t mind having a MAC league game this early because of some of the non-conference schedules that we play.”

Will the NIU football team play for the MAC title this year?
Yes
No
Too soon to tell