Created:Saturday, September 24, 2011 10:22 p.m.CDT
Updated:Saturday, September 24, 2011 10:28 p.m.CDT

NIU Notes: Harnish surpasses legend's record


DeKALB – Chandler Harnish ducked his head an offered a sheepish smile Saturday after Northern Illinois' 47-30 win against Cal Poly.

"I think George (Bork) might be a little upset with me," he said.

It's doubtful, but at least Harnish was aware.

NIU's senior quarterback continued to climb the Huskies record books, passing his legendary predecessor along the way.

With Harnish's 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Perez Ashford in the second quarter, Harnish passed Bork for the most touchdowns in school history. Bork had 65 in his career, which spanned from 1960-63. Harnish ended Saturday with 67 and has a minimum of eight games left in his college career.

"Very proud," Harnish said. "... George is a great guy and a great player and a legend here, and he'll never be forgotten."

Coach Dave Doeren said he was proud of Harnish and happy for him.

"Anytime you can do something – especially a record that's been around as long as that one – it's a special deal," Doeren said. "We talk about it all the time, 'We're here to make history,' and he did that. He couldn't have done it without his teammates, the guys blocking for him, I know that. And he'll be the first one to tell you that."

Harnish now has 49 passing and 18 rushing scores. Bork threw for 60 touchdowns and ran for five in his career.

No other option: In a college football rarity, NIU defended its second option offense of the season against Cal Poly on Saturday.

"I figured if we were going to play one, we might as well play two," linebacker Pat Schiller said.

No Mid-American Conference teams run option offenses. Most offenses in college football are either spread or pro-style. Schiller said he's ready to start playing against fewer cut blocks.

"It was a good look for us, and it was a change," Schiller said. "But I'm definitely ready to get back to the traditional style of offense in our conference."

Notable firsts: Wide receiver DeMarcus Grady had his first career catch on a 24-yard reception. Courtney Stephen partially blocked a punt in the first quarter, the second punt block by a Huskie player this year. Freshman tight end Tim Semisch recorded his first career reception and his first career touchdown with a seven-yard catch in the fourth quarter.

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?