Saturday practice notes

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It wasn't too much of a practice, but Northern Illinois' final preseason workout took place Saturday afternoon at Huskie Stadium.

The team simulated the game day experience, even singing the NIU fight song after the walkthrough.

As the team prepares for its game against Iowa at Soldier Field on Sept. 1, one of the bigger question marks is the offensive line, which will have five new starters. Center Logan Pegram's injury hurt the unit, but NIU coach Dave Doeren is confident in the guys playing up front.

"I don't feel like we're in a position where 'oh my gosh, you're playing this guy.' That's not where we're at. You have a guy that's maybe playing a little more than you thought he would, because we would have rotated a lot of guys inside this year," Doeren said. "So now you just don't have the depth, that's where it hurts you. We had a little more depth with logan, and logan's been in a lot of battles so you had his calming prescence. Once we get him back around the guys I think that'll help just having his leadership."

Other than Pegram going down with a lower leg fracture (he's out indefinitely), NIU came out pretty well injury-wise. Middle linebacker Victor Jacques missed some time with a leg injury, but has been practicing the past few days.

Jacques was listed as the starting middle linebacker on NIU's depth chart heading into fall practice. When he was hurt, redshirt freshman Boomer Mays took reps in his place. NIU will release a new depth chart either Monday or Tuesday.

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

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Will the NIU football team play for the MAC title this year?
Yes
No
Too soon to tell