LIVE BLOG: Miami at NIU

Posted on October 18, 2014 - 15:38:59

Final thoughts: NIU 51, Miami 41

NIU's defense did look shaky, but the offense looked real good in Saturday's win. Cameron Stingily looked the best he has all season, and Drew Hare had a great game himself.

• The defense certainly needs some improvements, but Miami quarterback Andrew Hendrix is no slouch. RedHawks head coach Chuck Martin said he sees Hendrix at the very least getting an invite to an NFL camp.

• It was nice to see Jason Meehan come up with a big sack, he's been one of the positives on the defense this year.

• The MAC is as wide open as it's ever been this year. For all the doomsday talk around DeKalb after last week's loss, NIU now controls its own destiny in the division thanks to Central Michigan's surprising loss to Ball State – in Mount Pleasant.

Halftime: NIU 37, Miami 21

Fans weren't happy with the offense's performance the past two weeks, but there's nothing to complain about so far today.

• Drew Hare has done it all today, going 5 of 7 through the air for 112 yards, and adding 118 rushing yards. He even caught a pass and nearly got into the end zone.

• After a quiet two weeks, Da'Ron Brown has two catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

• Brandon Mayes, who started at safety for Marlon Moore, leads the Huskies with six tackles. Expect Moore to return to his spot in the second half.

• For as well as the NIU offense has played, its still a two-possession game, so NIU will have its foot on the gas in the second half.

End of the first quarter: NIU 16, Miami 7

A few thoughts from the first quarter....

• Looking at the matchups, I figured Paris Logan would basically follow Miami stud wideout David Frazier over the field, but that hasn't been the case. Frazier has beaten true freshman Albert Smalls a couple of times.

• Look to see a fair amount of redshirt freshman tailback Jordan Huff, with Keith Harris and Akeem Daniels out. I've always liked Huff's talent.

• Miami needs to make an adjustment when it comes to stopping Drew Hare on the ground. Hare already has over 100 yards rushing. He's had a ton of room to run, whether it's been a designed play or a scramble.

5 minutes until kickoff

Game is about to get underway here, so here's the Daily Chronicle's staff predictions.

Steve Nitz: NIU 28, Miami 20

Eddie Carifio: NIU 23, Miami 22

Half hour until kickoff

Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio) will get started in roughly 30 minutes. While you're waiting, check out our coverage leading up to the game.

• Preview story: After holding Titus Davis in check, NIU corner Paris Logan faces another tough test in Miami's David Frazier.

NIU's 5 storylines to follow

• Matt McIntosh will be wearing No. 42 today, after making the transition to safety.

I'll be tweeting live updates from @HuskieWire throughout the game. As usual, we'll have stories and video up on Huskiewire.com following the contest.

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

Moore suspended for first half against Miami

Posted on October 13, 2014 - 16:08:45

Northern Illinois cornerback Marlon Moore has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's game against Miami (Ohio) for violating the MAC's sportsmanship conduct policy, the MAC announced Monday.

Moore was ejected in the second half of Saturday's loss to Central Michigan for unsportsmanlike conduct. Kent State safety Elcee Refuge and Ohio defensive end Andrew Laseak will also sit the first half of their respective games.

"Actions like this are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a press release. "I would like to thank our head coaches and administrators on all three campuses for their prompt attention to address this matter."

LIVE BLOG: NIU-Central Michigan

Posted on October 11, 2014 - 15:33:03

Final thoughts: Central Michigan 34, NIU 17

NIU losing this afternoon really shouldn't be too shocking. I felt the Chippewas would give the Huskies a game. Did I think NIU would score more? Sure. Did I expect Thomas Rawls to rack up 276 rushing yards? Nope.

Still, this isn't too big of an upset in my mind. Of course, people on Twitter are overreacting (saw a few fire Rod Carey tweets tweeted at our @Huskiewire account). This is still a team that should win at least eight games and go bowling once again.

And, hopes for another MAC West title are still alive. NIU should be heavy favorites against Miami and Eastern Michigan the next two weeks before midweek games get going.

Halftime: Central Michigan 21, NIU 7

Well, we have ourselves a game here at Huskie Stadium. After moving the ball effectively early on, the Huskies' offense has stalled, and they have had trouble with Chippewas running back Thomas Rawls.

A few observations:

• Anthony Maddie should see a series this afternoon, and I wouldn't be shocked if he gets the first one of the second half. Who knows what happens if he's able to move the ball.

• Paris Logan has held Titus Davis in check. Davis has just two catches for 13 yards. However, Jesse Kroll has taken advantage of NIU's young corners, and has six grabs for 97 yards.

• NIU is just 2 of 7 on third downs.

End of the first quarter: Central Michigan 14, NIU 7

NIU is just getting pushed around on defense right now. Thomas Rawls has 44 rushing yards, quarterback Cooper Rush is 10 of 11 through the air.

Luckily for the Huskies, Paris Logan is doing a good job on Titus Davis.

Outside of the last series, which stalled in part due to communication and a bad snap, the NIU offense has been able to move the ball pretty well. That shouldn't change.

5 minutes until kickoff

With kickoff around the corner, here are the Daily Chronicle's staff predictions. NIU opened up as a 10.5-point favorite but the line is down to 8.5

Steve Nitz: NIU 35, Central Michigan 28

Eddie Carifio: NIU 28, Central Michigan 27

Half hour until kickoff

Both teams are warming up on the field at the moment, getting ready for what I see as a pretty competitive game.

While you're waiting for kickoff, check out our preview coverage from today's game.

Game preview: Homecoming brings extra hype

Take 2: Not time to push the panic button

Central Michigan Q&A with Chippewas beat writer Nate Schneider

I'll be giving updates from @HuskieWire throughout the contest, and we'll have plenty of coverage up on Huskiewire.com after the game.

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

NIU Notes: Chad Beebe expected to play Saturday

Posted on October 7, 2014 - 15:06:02

DeKALB – Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey said he expects sophomore wide receiver Chad Beebe to play on Saturday.

Beebe, who suffered a concussion against Arkansas and missed the Kent State win, was cleared to practice on Tuesday.

He'll be a nice addition to a wide receiving corps which is already without Tommylee Lewis for the rest of the season.

Other notes from Tuesday's press conference:

• Carey said his intention is for Drew Hare to remain NIU's starter at quarterback for the rest of the season. Though expect to see Anthony Maddie as well.

"Drew's our starter. We'll have a plan for Maddie like we always do," he said. "... I fully expect Drew to play really well, and Maddie to come in and play well and not turn the ball over. Those are my expectations."

• The guy to watch on the CMU defense is senior middle linebacker Justin Cherocci, who has a team-high 61 tackles, 29 more than the second-highest Chippewa tackler.

"You've got [Cherocci] there, the linebacker, who feels like he's been in this conference for eight years. We've played him every year and he's a really good player," Carey said. "He is your classic Mike linebacker who has good range side to side and he's downhill and physical."

• The last MAC team to beat NIU at Huskie Stadium was Central Michigan back in 2008. CMU was also the last MAC team to beat NIU in the regular season. The Chippewas defeated NIU 48-41 on Oct. 1, 2011.

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

LIVE BLOG: NIU-Kent State

Posted on October 4, 2014 - 15:39:52

Final: NIU 17, Kent State 14

It looks like NIU's quarterback competition hasn't ended. I've felt Drew Hare has played well over the past three games. However, he just wasn't able to move the offense today.

Anthony Maddie got his chance Saturday and played well, leading three scoring drives, though he did throw that key interception late in the fourth.

Who knows who gets the start next week. I do think Carey needs to decide on one quarterback over the next couple of games.

• Kent State's offense has struggled to score points all year, though I think the defense played well. Jamaal Bass had a good game in his first real action, he should be starting next week.

• I've always liked Jordan Huff's talent, and it showed in limited action today. We'll see if he works his way into the rotation.

• I felt Kent State should have went for it on fourth down when the Flashes kicked the first-half field goal. 26-point dog on the road, you have to take those risks.

Halftime: NIU 7, Kent State 3

Yeah….not quite the blowout myself and others were expecting heading into the game.

• NIU's defense has played well so far, though Kent State's offense struggled mightily coming in. Still, have to be happy considering how the last couple weeks have gone. And the goal line stand was a huge sequence.

• Jamaal Bass has played well. One would think he'll be at full strength next week.

• Considering Anthony Maddie led NIU on a touchdown drive in his lone series, it will be interesting to see if he gets a series in the second half.

• NIU is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry. Expect that total to improve after halftime.

End of the first quarter: NIU 0, Kent State 0

NIU really hasn't been able to get going yet, but the defense has held strong, which is a good sign. A few thoughts

• I think fans have to be happy with Drew Hare's performance this year. He's shown he can throw, run, and he's taken care of the ball.

• Jamaal Bass had a nice stuff of a KSU running play, though he drew a pass interference penalty on the very next play (though it was offset by a KSU hold). Earlier this week Carey said he'd see like to see him have about 45 snaps.

• Kent State's offense is just bad. NIU will be able to put up points, and eventually this one will get out of hand.

5 minutes until kickoff

Here we go, here are the Daily Chronicle staff predictions

Steve Nitz: NIU 42, Kent State 21

Eddie Carifio: NIU 47, Kent State 19

30 minutes until kickoff

Northern Illinois is finally back at home for the first time since the season opener. How many fans will stay past halftime of what should be a blowout?

Game will get going here soon, while you're waiting, check out our preview coverage.

• Game preview: Streak not a main focus for Huskies

• Take 2: Huskies seem prepared to extend streak

• Also, earlier this week I spoke with NIU athletic director Sean Frazier about the scheduling process

I'll be blogging throughout the game and tweeting from @HuskieWire. Enjoy the game, we'll have plenty of coverage up on Huskiewire.com following the final horn.

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

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