DeKALB – Northern Illinois senior wide receiver Martel Moore left Saturday's 63-0 win over Massachusetts in the first half with a shoulder injury.
Moore was on the sidelines without pads in the second half, but after the victory NIU head coach Dave Doeren said the injury wasn't serious. Doeren said Moore could have played, but didn't want to risk anything with his team already up 35-0.
"He was fine. He just got hit in the shoulder and could have come back. But at that point in the game I didn't feel the need to put him out there," Doeren said. "He said he could go, but we definitely need him more in the next one than we did at that point. Juwan (Brescacin) and A.J. (Sebastiano) need the reps too, so it was good for them."
Moore has been the Huskies' best receiver this season. He caught three passes for 29 yards and a touchdown, his eighth of the season, before leaving Saturday's game. The senior's TD catch was the 19th of his career, which puts him in a tie for fourth place on the school's all-time list.
Streak update: NIU's blowout win was the Huskies' ninth in a row, 20th straight at Huskie Stadium and 14th straight victory in the Mid-American Conference.
Secondary doesn't miss a beat: NIU's secondary was missing three starters Saturday – safeties Jimmie Ward and Dechane Durante and cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Sean Evans stepped into Melvin's spot, with Dominique Ware taking Ward's place as one of the Huskies' two safeties.
Ware had a career-high eight tackles, and NIU gave up just 153 yards passing.
"I thought the guys played really well. Held them to 153 yards (passing) and did some nice things in the tackle game," Doeren said of his secondary. "I know there could have been a few plays here or there, but I thought they played extremely well on the back end today."
Penalty yards pile up: If there was one negative from NIU's easy win, it was the fact the Huskies had 10 penalties for 88 yards. Compare the total to UMass, which had two penalties for 20 yards. It obviously didn't make too much of a difference for the Huskies against a team like the Minutemen, but it was something concerning to Doeren.
"I think if you whisper we jump offsides right now. I'm pretty disappointed about that, it was an emphasis that didn't get done so it's obviously something that we'll continue to talk about," he said. "Our guys want to make plays in the backfield, as evidenced by the number of [tackles for loss] and sacks we're getting, but we can't jump offsides."