Thursday, August 28, 2008

Homer Preview: The Huskies Edition

In an effort to provide coverage of teams outside of the OTP Preseason Top 25, we've asked some of our friends and fellow college football aficionados to follow our preview format for their own team. This edition of The Homer Preview, featuring the Northern Illinois Huskies is courtesy of an unnamed yet awesome NIU supporter, and while an International Man of Mystery, he's never too big to write for a website about a sub-standard football team. Huzzah!

Homer Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies

What You Need to Know: In year one of the Coach Kill regime, you can expect growing pains. However, those who follow the program do expect improvement over last years shocking two win season. Coach Jerry Kill has turned around every program he has ever lead, expect a similar result in DeKalb. Kill was the 1-AA (I refuse to call it whatever it is supposed to be called now), National Coach of the Year last year at Southern Illinois University and has kept virtually his entire staff in tact, which should help in a transition year.

Now, to the bare essentials. The previous coaching staff and administration didn’t do Coach Kill any favors in scheduling. The Huskies will face six bowl teams from last year including road dates at Minnesota and Tennessee. With a new coach, a transitional recruiting class and a team who won two games, this schedule may prove too much to handle. (In defense of the two wins last year, the Huskies did lose six games last year by a touchdown or less).

Who You Need to Know and Their 07 Stats
RB Justin Anderson: 1245 yds, 8 TD

DE Larry English: 67 tkls, 10.5 sacks

WR Matt Simon: 52 rec., 965 yds, 5 TD

Game To Watch
: There are about five games on their schedule that will be notable and very interesting. Aside from their kickoff game at Minnesota, their week two game at Western Michigan will be critical. Assuming the prognosticators are right and the Huskies stumble at their big ten opponent week one, they will need to show well in Kalamazoo to regain momentum and avoid an 0-2 start. Also, circle 11/5 on your calendar when the Huskies visit the Cardinals of Ball State. This nationally televised Wednesday night game will feature the best defensive player in the league, NIU’s Larry English (t
hat’s right, take that in for a moment. The MVP of the MAC was not only a defensive player, but a defensive player off of a team that finished in last place with two wins. ) trying to slow debatably the best offensive player in the league (Ball State’s Junior QB, Nate Davis).

They'll Do Well If...
: Whomever they name starter at QB proves he can be a stabling presence and can handle a new, spread-style offense. Also if Justin Anderson can rush for at least 1000 yards to take pressure off of the QB. (In doing so, it would be the 10th consecutive year NIU has a 1,000 yard rusher).

Season Outlook
: Coach Kill is the real deal and will succeed at delivering NIU its first MAC Championship…….just not this year. Between 4-6 wins should be expected, but don’t sleep on this program on the rise.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Coach Kill. Easily the best name out there for a coach. Well done!