Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said during this morning's MAC coaches teleconference there were a few positives he could take out of the Huskies' 20-19 loss at Toledo this past Saturday.
"We've seen some defensive kids play well at times," Kill said. "We're just like any team in America. To get people to play on a consistent basis all the time and to get them where you're not up and down in your play, that's part of coaching young people."
Consistency was the word of the day on the teleconference and Kill expounded on that topic.
"It's hard to get that consistent level of play," Kill said. "I think if you look at the teams that are playing good consistent football, they're teams that are veteran, that are older, guys that have been through it, those kinds of things.
"When you've got a young team you've got to keep pushing them, practicing hard and hopefully you'll develop that consistency."
Here are some other highlights from the teleconference:
Kill on his team's success in the red zone (24 of 25 with 17 touchdowns and zero turnovers):
"I think we've done a pretty good job. A year ago we turned the ball over in the red zone and we weren't very good... It's hard to emphasize all of them because football is a very complicated game, but I think the things we emphasized we're doing well on. There are some other things that maybe we didn't emphasize enough. I don't know. But I think we put a strong emphasis to be a better team in the red zone and for that we're playing good in that area."
Kill on Miami (Ohio):
"They played a brutal schedule. Watching them on film last night. I was very impressed with their football team. They're starting to get an identity. They run and play hard. I think the players are starting to buy into it and they're getting better. I see good things on the horizon for their football team. I just hope it isn't against us this week."
"Defensively I think they're getting better and better. Fundamentally they're playing very sound football and getting better each week. You can say what you want, but their schedule, they have played a very, very, very difficult schedule. I think coach [Michael Haywood] has done a great job of keeping his kids in the wheelbarrow so to speak and having them get better each week. There's no question they've gotten better every week."
Finally, asked if quarterback Chandler Harnish was fine after getting hit by safety Barry Church late in the fourth quarter, Kill said "We'll see." Harnish declared himself to be 100 percent and ready for Miami (Ohio) while speaking with reporters about 20 minutes after the game.
We'll have more on the last-minute field goal block tomorrow here on HuskieWire.com and in Tuesday's Daily Chronicle.