Created:Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3:32 p.m.CDT
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Sims grades himself harshly

He made both his field goals – his first two this season – and the second came from a career-long 44 yards out. Hard to believe Northern Illinois kicker Mathew Sims had a bad game in the Huskies win against Cal Poly on Saturday.

But that's exactlh how the sophomore looks at it. Nevermind the fact his 44 yarder likely would've been good from 50. It was the blocked extra point attempt in the fourth quarter – with the score 40-17 – that kept gnawing at Sims on Tuesday.

"That was on me," Sims said. "It wasn't on my line or anybody else's fault. I was more concerned about that than the field goals. They didn't get a lot of height. I mean, they went in, so that's good. But they didn't look very pretty."

At least, other than that one extra point, Sims' kicks went in.

The sophomore was searching for a bit of redemption after missing his first field goal attempt of the season, a 42 yarder before hafltime against No. 7 Wisconsin. He got it Saturday.

"I hated to let my teammates down," Sims said, "because at the end of the half, they drove and got the opportunity to put points on the board. I just let them down. So I just didn't want to let that opportunity pass me by again."

Sims has only kicked three field goals in four games. His lack of use has been a positive for NIU's offense, which scores touchdowns so efficiently a field goal rarely is necessary. Sims doesn't mind.

"That's always nice," Sims said. "But if I have to kick a field goal, I'm up for the challenge. Of course everybody like scoring touchdowns. It's just easier on everybody, you get more points. But if I have to kick a field goal, I'm up for the challenge."

He looked like it Saturday, even if he isn't satisfied.

– Ryan Wood, @rwood_DDC on Twitter, rwood@shawmedia.com

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