That truly was one of the most bizarre and disappointing games I have ever seen the Northern Illinois Huskies play. On a neutral location, NIU is the better team. However, this game was on the road and the Huskies couldn't recover from a 17-0 deficit early and the bleeding wouldn't stop all game long. Chandler Harnish became the school's leading passer in a game where he went 27 of 50 for 370 yds, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. The first pick came on the first drive of the game and the second one was on the last drive of the game.
For the bigger part of the offseason, NIU Huskies fans had their heads under the sand. Sure, the offense was prolific last year. It still is this year, but something just seems off when you watch the players.
Although some sort of running game was established throughout the game, early on it was pathetic. This offensive line should be absolutely dominating MAC defensive lines. These guys have 120+ career starts combined and they look horrible.
It's like some sort of twisted joke, these guys can't be that bad, you know? We were spoon-fed by everybody in the offseason about how so little is going to change about the offense. Matt Canada came in and it seems like he's over-complicated things. That's about all you can say on the offensive side of things.
Now on defense, oh boy. I don't even know where to start on this side of the ball. In order to break things down, we'll have to go over all the positions and what options are available we have at this point.
561 yds allowed
OK, so we brought in Jay Niemann, a guy that's been coaching D-III football for the past 9 years in the offseason. Doeren's supposed to know what he's doing on the defensive side of things, so this was supposed to be a misnomer. WHAT. HAPPENED.
The defense isn't just bad, it's atrocious and needs a major rehaul. Everybody knew there were going to be some growing pains, but this is just something I haven't seen since the 2-10 season of 2007. Everybody must be blamed.
Nobody's dominating on the D-Line and the linebacker corps was ABSOLUTELY DECIMATED by the loss of Tyrone Clark & Devon Butler. There's nobody at any of those spots now worth noting, apparently. A mid-major team with a new coach is completely unable to handle these losses by any stretch.
In the secondary, Tommy Davis was the only returner and nobody else has been consistent enough to be noteworthy. Demetrius Stone should be benched. It's the chicken and the egg thing with the non-existent defensive line pressure but safeties have to make more plays in the box.
This is just a lot to take in and barely seems real given the offseason expectations.