Northern Illinois completed its first full-padded practice of the season Friday afternoon. The team's first two-a-day will be Saturday, with practices at 8:35 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. NIU's original practice schedule says the morning is a scrimmage, but NIU coach Dave Doeren said the team will just do some scrimmaging at the end, which was the case Friday.
Here are some notes and observations from the Huskies' fifth practice of the year:
• Sophomore cornerback and Sycamore product Marckie Hayes tweaked his knee Thursday and was held out of Friday's practice. Doeren said it's nothing major.
• I asked Doeren about the offensive line, and he said there was some improvement Friday. He said the line was opening up more holes for the backs.
• Speaking of the line, the first team consisted of Ryan Brown and Matt Krempel at the tackle spots and Aidan Conlon and Andrew Ness at guard Friday, with Logan Pegram at center. Pegram is the lone starter returning from last year's team, and he's switching over from guard.
• The quarterbacks worked on a drill that consisted of each of them arching a pass into a garbage can that was stacked on top of a few more garbage cans. The throw was a good 40 yards or so. Matt Williams and Matt McIntosh came extremely close to sinking a throw into the can.
— Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter