Created:Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:26 a.m.CST
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NIU notes: First half ends on a confusing sequence

By JOHN SAHLY - jsahly@daily-chronicle.com

DeKALB – It's safe to say there was plenty of confusion at the end of the first half on Saturday.

With Northern Illinois driving into Idaho territory, quarterback Chandler Harnish fired off a pass to wide receiver Martel Moore for a first down at the Idaho 34. That's when things turned strange.

The game clock, which read 0.0, was reset to 0.9 seconds. Harnish then spiked the ball to stop the clock, but the clock again read 0.0 seconds after the play. After a couple of conferences, the clock ended up reset to 0.2 seconds.

"I asked again because it went to zero again and it only took two-tenths of a second to snap the ball," Idaho coach Robb Akey said. "Two-tenths of a second is pretty quick."

The short amount of time left on the clock gave NIU kicker Mike Salerno time to connect on a 50-yard field goal to make the score 21-13 in favor of idaho.

"It actually might have helped spark my guys up a little bit as we closed out the half and got us rolling," Akey said.

"It certainly was an unusual situation with how it all occurred," NIU coach Jerry Kill said.

Punt block: Linebacker Jordan Delegal's fourth quarter punt block was NIU's first this season and put NIU back in the game with the ball at the Idaho 1-yard-line. The Huskies punched it in on a Me'co Brown 1-yard touchdown run and after a successful two-point conversion by Brown, the score was 34-31 Idaho.

"I just executed, went through the scenario before the snap, got on my horse and made a play when we had to make it with," Delegal said.

Historic day: Saturday marked the 1,000th game in NIU football history. NIU's all-time record is now 496-453-51. The game also was officiated by a crew from the C-USA/MWC/WAC officials' group that includes the only female official in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Sarah Thomas.

Injury report: Defensive end Jake Coffman was cleared to play on Friday, but NIU opted to hold him out of Saturday's game. Kill said Coffman would be back next week. Tight end Reed Cunningham was sick with the flu. Center Eddie Adamski injured an ankle in the third quarter. He was replaced by Scott Wedige and Adamski's status for next week is unknown.

"Scott Wedige did a great job," Kill said. "He came in and snapped that ball and we didn't have any fumbles or anything like that."

By the numbers: Junior wide receiver Landon Cox caught five passes for 53 yards on the day to establish career highs in both... Wideout Willie Clark caught his first career touchdown... Northern Illinois did not turn the ball over for the first time this year... The Huskies finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 2-2 record for the first time since 2006.
Quotable:
"Through my lifetime, I've had a lot of ups and downs. I've always learned one thing: If you work hard and you prepare well, there will be another week and you'll be all right," Kill said. "And I think our kids will. If they don't then they need to get somebody else in here and I don't have a problem with that either.

"If I can't get it out of them, then they should probably get somebody else in here. They won't ever have to fire me here. I'll give them the [darn] money back. I'll go live in a cottage."

Who wins the Boca Raton Bowl?
NIU
Marshall