Saturday, Northern Illinois will face a team from a BCS conference at Huskie Stadium for the first time since Sept. 27, 2003. That day, NIU beat Iowa State, 24-16.
When the Huskies take the field Saturday, they'll be going up against another team from the Big 12 Conference in Kansas.
At Tuesday's weekly press conference inside the Yordon Center, NIU head coach Dave Doeren talked about taking on a team like Kansas in DeKalb, and how important fan support will be.
NIU has won 16 straight games at home, and Doeren has said the loud stadium atmosphere plays a part.
"I think it's great. I know Central Michigan had Michigan State at their place, I think it was a sellout crowd if I'm not mistaken," Doeren said. "For us with Kansas coming here, we would like to get the same kind of support from our fans. I'd really like to get our student body here this weekend. I think that's a big deal, for them to come and support us. I know our season ticket holders will be here. But, we'd like to get our students here in full support for this game.
"I don't know if I could do a rallying cry for the student body to show up, but I'd love to do that. Those guys make us better, our fans."
More news and notes from Tuesday's news conference:
• Two NIU coaches have Kansas ties – Doeren and linebackers coach Kevin Kane. Doeren is from Kansas, and was an assistant coach in Lawrence from 2002-05. Kane played for the Jayhawks from 2002-05, and was a student assistant in 2006 and 2007. Kansas won the Orange Bowl following the 2007 season.
Doeren said last year, being a first-year head coach and traveling to Lawrence felt different. This season, Kansas is just the next team on the schedule.
"I don't care who it is. I want to be 3-1 next week and not 2-2. Kansas is the team we get to play," Doeren said. "I don't have anybody on that team that I recruited, they're in a different football facility than when I worked there. I didn't work for that head coach, so it's just another game."
• It's old news now, but NIU gave up 486 yards of offense against Army Saturday. Some of that was due to the triple option, but Doeren said his team didn't tackle very well either.
"We didn't tackle the way that we normally do," Doeren said. "I thought we slid off a lot of tackles in that game, which led to a lot of first downs, obviously."
Doeren added that he's not concerned with his team's ability to stop the run.
"I think the first two games we showed by holding teams to less than three yards a carry for two weeks that we're capable of doing that," he said.
– Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter