Created:Thursday, July 28, 2011 5:30 a.m.CDT
Updated:Thursday, July 28, 2011 2:34 p.m.CDT
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NIU Notes: Linemen adjust preparation for new offense

By RYAN WOOD - rwood@daily-chronicle.com

CHICAGO – For all its advantages, center Scott Wedige knew Northern Illinois’ switch to a full-time, no-huddle offense would be more physically demanding.

The fifth-year senior tweaked his summer routine to prepare for the change.

Most summers, Wedige and his fellow offensive linemen don’t have to watch what they eat too closely. At a position built on bulk, bigger is usually better. But knowing offensive coordinator Matt Canada wanted to run 90 plays per game, Wedige watched his diet more over the past few months.

“This summer, you’re trying to lose a little bit (of weight) to get into better shape,” Wedige said. “It’s a quick offense, it’s tough for teams to plan for and it’s hard to be in that good of shape. So we just wanted to make sure we were in the best shapes of our lives so we could really execute the offense to perfection.”

Wedige said he still eats his fill. His plate just includes more fruits and vegetables.

“Don’t get me wrong, we still eat. We eat our fair share,” Wedige said. “We’re just eating healthier food. If you can eat healthy, it tastes great. That’s what I’m learning.”

Compher talks 2013 non-conference: At NIU’s Chicago media day Wednesday, athletic director Jeff Compher confirmed the Huskies’ 2013 non-conference football schedule will be road games at Purdue, Iowa and Idaho as well as a home game against Eastern Illinois.

“I think it’s a good schedule for us,” Compher said. “I like the fact we’re playing another Big Ten team that’s close to home. We’ve had a good series with Idaho in the past. And being able to play Iowa – same thing as Purdue, just a short road trip away – makes it very easy for our fans to come support us.”

NIU just concluded a home-and-home series with Idaho in 2009. Compher said he has a good working relationship with Idaho AD Rob Spear, which made him willing to begin another series.

“I trust him, I like him a lot,” Compher said. “I feel like it’s two programs that match up well. We’re at a place where we know each other, and it kind of makes sense for us. And their willingness to come here, and our willingness to go there. You have to have that desire, and their willing to do that.”
Indoor practice facility:
Compher said the university has approved an attempt to gauge interest in building an indoor practice facility.

“We’re out talking to people and trying to test the waters and kind of see where things are to figure out when we can break ground based on peoples’ support of the program and support of that facility,” Compher said.

Compher said there is no timetable set for the project, and he doesn’t know when the university will be able to break ground.

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