DeKALB – On the surface, the 202 rushing yards Iowa gained against Northern Illinois on Saturday is a concern.
It’s certainly something the Huskies will look to clean up, but one thing defensive coordinator Jay Niemann was happy about was how his defense never let Iowa hit the home run.
The Hawkeyes’ longest run was a 15-yard scamper by Mark Weisman in the fourth quarter.
“I liked the fact that even though they rushed for more yards than we would have liked, they didn’t ever crease us for a long run,” Niemann said Tuesday. “I think our safeties did a good job getting the ball down, so that was a positive.”
Other NIU notes:
• Niemann said he blitzed more than he traditionally would have because of the way the game unfolded.
• NIU head coach Rod Carey said he hasn’t settled on a backup quarterback. On the team’s depth chart, the backup QB is listed as Matt McIntosh or Drew Hare.
Carey said both quarterbacks have been improving.
“They both keep getting better,” Carey said. “Last week’s practice, they both did some really good things in there.”
• The past couple of days, NIU has been giving the younger players some decent scrimmage time at the end of practice. True freshman running back Joel Bouagnon, who has been with the scout team, had a long touchdown run Wednesday.
• Carey said every coach will be on the recruiting trail at some point this week with the bye, and said a couple coaches are already out. Defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Brett Diersen and cornerbacks coach Kelvin Sigler haven’t been at practice the past couple of days.
– Steve Nitz, firstname.lastname@example.org