Category: Northern Illinois Huskies

Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins throws down field against Arizona during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Oregon State QB transfer lands at Northern Illinois

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A day after signing day, Northern Illinois put the finishing touches on its Class of 2016 with the addition of Oregon State transfer quarterback Seth Collins.

“We’re really happy to have Seth, he’s a quality, quality young man,” said NIU head coach Rod Carey in a released statement. “He’s obviously a fantastic football player and a great quarterback, and he comes from a great family who we have gotten to know during this process. We look forward to having him on campus with the rest of the class this summer and to 2017 when he will be eligible to suit up and play for us.”

As noted by Carey, Collins will not be eligible to play for the Huskies until the 2017 season. NCAA transfer rules mean Collins will have to sit out the 2016 season, but he can join the team in all other activities other than playing games.

Collins left Oregon State as speculation grew he was possibly going to be moved to wide receiver. At NIU it looks as though he will be locked into playing quarterback for the MAC squad. Collins started seven games for the Beavers in 2015 before being sidelined with a knee injury.

Rutgers swipes NIU’s DC for same job with Scarlet Knights

Chris Ash
Rutgers athletics
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Chris Ash filling another hole on his first Rutgers’ coaching staff will result in Rod Carey having a hole on his own staff to fill.

RU announced in a press release Wednesday that Ash has added Jay Niemann as his first defensive coordinator.  Niemann had spent the past five season as the coordinator at Northern Illinois.

Interestingly, Ash, a college defensive back, played for Niemann at Drake, with the former serving as that school’s defensive coordinator as well as Ash’s position coach.

“Jay will be a great addition to our coaching staff as defensive coordinator,” said Ash. “Jay and I have known each other for over 20 years and I have always admired his approach to coaching. Jay and I share a defensive philosophy. It will be a defense built on effort, fundamentals, execution and toughness.”

While Niemann has 25 years of coaching experience, this will be his first job at a Power Five program.

Boise State crushes Northern Illinois in Poinsettia Bowl laugher

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Ryan Graham #17 of the Northern Illinois Huskies fumbles under pressure from Kamalei Correa #8 of the Boise State Broncos and Tyler Gray #36 of the Boise State Broncos during the first half of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 23, 2015 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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These weren’t the vintage versions of these teams, what with their seven conference championships and three BCS appearances over the past seven years traded for no conference titles and nine regular season losses. Despite that, though, Boise State brought its A-plus game to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday night. Northern Illinois’ effort can be classified somewhere between letters D and Q.

Boise State jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and cruised to a 55-7 victory over the overmatched and uninterested Huskies. The 48-point margin was Boise State’s largest bowl victory and Northern Illinois’ greatest bowl defeat.

The Broncos found pay dirt on each of their first three possessions, marching 75, 67 and 53 yards, to grab a 21-point lead less than 12 minutes in. Jeremy McNichols notched all three of Boise’s touchdowns, coming on a 29-yard dash, a four-yard reception from Brett Rypien and then a one-yard plunge.

The lead swelled to 31-7 by halftime, despite Boise State losing the ball on an interception a fumble and a turnover on downs. Boise State then pushed the lead to 41-7 after three and 55-7 by the 9:52 mark of the fourth quarter before letting the air out of the time remaining.

For the game, McNichols rushed 19 times for 93 yards and two scores while also notching five receptions for a game-high 96 yards and a touchdown. Brett Rypien completed 29-of-40 throws for 377 yards with three scores and an interception; Shane Williams-Rhoades nabbed eight balls for 94 yards, Thomas Sperbeck caught six for 78, Chaz Anderson hauled in four for 46 and a score and Alec Dhaenens snared an 18-yard touchdown catch. On the ground, Ryan Wolpin rushed 15 times for 90 yards, Kelsey Young toted 10 times for 54 yards and a touchdown and Thomas Stuart compiled five rushes for 20 yards and a touchdown.

As for Northern Illinois? Woof. (And not the good kind.) The Huskies’ first drive moved 42 yards in 13 snaps; their remaining 12 traveled no further than six yards, and four of them lost yardage. Jacob Ambrose punted nine times if not for Aregeros Turner‘s 96-yard kickoff return touchdown NIU would have finished the night with as many points as it started.

Overall, Boise State compiled 654 yards (377 passing, 277 rushing) on 97 plays, while Northern Illinois achieved 33 yards in 51 tries. The Broncos held a 35-7 edge in first downs and converted 10-of-16 third downs to NIU’s 1-of-12.

Just how thorough was this beating? Boise State’s fifth-leading rusher would’ve lead Northern Illinois’ entire roster, and six separate Broncos posted more receiving yards than the most productive Huskie.

In the end, Boise State finishes 2015 at 9-4 and pondering what’s to come, while Northern Illinois closes at 8-6, wondering just what in the world happened.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 23 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 23 bowl menu, which features, again, a pair of teams from the MAC — the two teams in the conference championship game, actually — as well as schools representing the Mountain West and Sun Belt. 

WHO: Boise State (8-4) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5)
WHAT: The 11th San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: Boise State was the preseason favorite in not only the Mountain West but, according to many observers, for the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bid, but ended up tying for the football program’s fewest number of wins since the 1998 season (eight each in 2013, 2001).  Northern Illinois recovered well enough from a 2-3 start to win the MAC West and reach the league title game, even as they are ended the regular season on a two-game losing streak.  While the Huskies started poorly and finished well(ish), the Broncos were the exact opposite — 5-1 the first half of the season, 3-3 the last half.  That finish included a pair of seven-point home losses to New Mexico (7-5) and MWC Mountain champion Air Force (8-5).  A good portion of Boise’s success and missteps this season can be attributed being forced to use true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, who was inserted into the lineup following a season-ending injury to starter Ryan Finley in Week 3.  Rypien, 6-3 as the starter, certainly displayed significant hope for the future (four 300-plus games, and one each over 400 and 500), but also looked his age in losses to Utah State and New Mexico as he tossed three picks in each.  Boise’s injury issue at quarterback paled in comparison to that of the Huskies, who started three different quarterbacks this season because of injury.  Circling back to Rypien’s interception issues in a couple of games, here’s one thing to keep in mind: NIU ballhawk Shawun Lurry currently leads the nation with nine picks, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
THE LINE: Northern Illinois, +8½
THE PREDICTION: Boise State 34, Northern Illinois 27


WHO: Georgia Southern (8-4) vs. Bowling Green (10-3)
WHAT: The 17th GoDaddy Bowl
WHERE: Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: In the first-ever meeting between the two programs, you might not find a more “Game of Opposites” than this SBC vs. MAC clash.  By a wide margin, the Eagles, appearing in their first bowl game, lead the nation in rushing, with their 355.6 yards per game more than 30 more than runner-up Air Force averages (321.8).  Their 47 rushing touchdowns are second to Navy’s 48.  The Falcons, meanwhile, are tops in the country with 4,889 yards passing, and their 44 passing touchdowns are second to Western Kentucky’s 47.  While GSU has simply no interest and/or ability in passing the ball — dead last in the FBS averaging 61.8 yards per game — BGSU is actually a respectable 50th in rushing, averaging 184.9 yards per game.  As for defending each other’s strength, the Falcons are 57th in run defense (161.6 ypg) while the Eagles are 39th (203.9 ypg) against the pass.  There’s something recent that should worry the Eagles, though, as Georgia State’s Nick Arbuckle torched GSU for 346 yards passing in a regular season-ending 34-7 loss.  Arbuckle is a quality, quality quarterback; the Falcons’ Matt Johnson leads the nation with 4,700 yards in the air.  The Eagles could be in for a long, long day, regardless of how well they do the thing they do well.  One final note: both teams lost their head coaches to other jobs at season’s end, and will be led by interim bosses.
THE LINE: Georgia Southern, +8
THE PREDICTION: Bowling Green 52, Georgia Southern 38

Heisman winner Derrick Henry, finalists and more fill Football Writers All-American team

Derrick Henry
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson,file
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The bulk of the college football award season may be behind us, but the key All-American teams continue to be released in the coming days before the NCAA assembles this year’s list of consensus All-Americans. The Associated Press released its All-American list on Sunday. On Monday it was time for the Football Writers Association of American to release its annual list of All-Americans. Heisman Trophy winning running back from Alabama Derrick Henry was an easy pick for first team honors, as were fellow finalists Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford. McCaffrey did not make the cut at running back, but was given first team honors as a kick returner.

Joining Henrey as first team All-American running backs are Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Leonard Fournette of LSU. Fournette and Henry each earned first-team honors from the AP as well, while Cook made the second team cut.

First Team Offense

  • QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
  • RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
  • RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
  • RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
  • WR Corey Coleman, Baylor
  • WR Josh Doctson, TCU
  • OL Spencer Drango, Baylor
  • OL Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  • OL Jason Springs, Indiana
  • OL Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
  • C Ryan Kelly, Alabama

First Team Defense

  • DL Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
  • DL Shaq Lawson, Clemson
  • DL Carl Nassib, Penn State
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
  • LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple
  • LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
  • LB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
  • DB Jeremy Cash, Duke
  • DB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
  • DB Desmond King, Iowa
  • DB Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois

First Team Special Teams

  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn, UCLA
  • P Tom Hackett, Utah
  • KR Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  • PR William Likely, Maryland

Second Team All-America Team

Offense: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma; RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State; RB Royce Freeman, Oregon; WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame; WR Roger Lewis, Bowling Green; WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC; OL Jack Conklin, Michigan State; OL Taylor Decker, Ohio State; OL Tyler Johnstone, Oregon; OL Landon Turner, North Carolina; C Jack Allen, Michigan State. Defense: DL Andrew Billings, Baylor; DL DeForest Buckner, Oregon; DL Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; DL; Sheldon Day, Notre Dame; LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri; LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma; DB Eddie Jackson, Alabama; DB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan; DB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State; DB Darian Thompson, Boise State. Specialists: K Jaden Oberkrom, TCU; P Michael Carrizosa, San José State; KR Evan Berry, Tennessee; PR Cameron Sutton, Tennessee.