Tuesday's news and notes

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Happy Tuesday, everyone. We've got a few items of note today.

First, right tackle Kevin Skatrud is out for the season after having knee surgery to repair torn knee ligaments, Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill confirmed this afternoon. Skatrud is a redshirt senior and entered fall camp as the projected starter at right tackle, but went down with a knee injury during 11-on-11 play about two weeks ago.

Kill said Skatrud has already graduated but is taking classes this semester and will rehab the knee injury. Skatrud doesn't have any eligibility left, but will enter the police academy sometime in the future, Kill added.

"He's looking forward to it," Kill said.

As for the player evaluations the coaches went through this weekend, Kill said some of the position battles were sorted out and some still have to be settled.

Joe Pawlak will start at right guard. Adam Kiel and Panan Tense are still battling for the right tackle spot. At wide receiver, how many freshmen will play is still very much to be determined.

"They've all made plays," Kill said. "They've all made a whole lot of plays and Saturday they made more plays. It's hard to not play a playmaker and then you've got to sort out the classroom and which ones are going to be able to handle all that. To make that decision, over the weekend, all that did was muddy it a little bit, which is a good thing."

Kill also said he feels much stronger about the tight end position than he did before camp based on the performances of Reed Cunningham, Jason Schepler, Bryan Beckner and Jack Marks.

There will not be a practice report today as we are putting together our special season preview issue that I think you'll be excited about.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher was in town today, and we'll have a Q&A with him on HuskieWire.com in the next day or two. Some of the topics we covered included: Why the MAC is not pursuing its own network at this time, how non-automatic qualifying schools can get a seat at the table with the BCS and more.

Finally, if you haven't noticed, the comments section on HuskieWire.com still has some kinks, so the first Q&A with me will be next week. Look for an announcement as to when you can start leaving your questions.


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Will NIU football win the MAC this season?