Saturday afternoon practice notes

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Northern Illinois concluded its first full week of practice Saturday afternoon.

NIU coach Dave Doeren said there was some rust and mistakes during camp's first week, but said that's expected. One thing he was pleased with was leadership from the veteran players.

Doeren thought the defense was ahead of the offense mentally and installation-wise the first week, but said the offense is starting to step it up when it comes to execution.

Here are some more notes and observations from Saturday's afternoon practice:

• Doeren said it was a rough week for backup quarterback Matt McIntosh and the two freshmen QBs on the roster, Matt Williams and Drew Hare. Doeren said McIntosh is working on getting used to the speed of the game.

• McIntosh did break off a long run in two-minute drill. Starter Jordan Lynch is obviously an athletic quarterback, and Doeren said athleticism isn't a problem for his other QBs either.

• Middle linebacker Victor Jacques didn't practice due to a leg injury. Doeren said Jacques could be out anywhere from one day and two weeks, depending on what the doctor says. The staff still isn't sure what's wrong with him. Redshirt freshman Boomer Mays took Jacques' place with the first team and had an interception during red zone drills.

• The Huskies' season-opener against Iowa at Soldier Field is exactly three weeks from Saturday.

– Steve Nitz, snitz@shawmedia.com, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter

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