Couple things I noticed as I was going through all the articles from this weekend
1. Losses = more stuff to talk about. I think we barely acknowledged much of what happened during the WMU game, because it was such a flawless performance all-around. Of course this isn't good for my fan side, but it is positive for my blogging side.
2. Barry Church is an absolute monster. I completely ignored him this week previewing Toledo. I think he took offense, as he was ALL over the place on defense. 12 tackles & 2 blocked kicks...are you kidding me?
"The Machine is self-aware." At least Kill is recognizes that he's inconsistent
"We've seen some defensive kids play well at times," Kill said. "We're just like any team in America. To get people to play on a consistent basis all the time and to get them where you're not up and down in your play, that's part of coaching young people."
Consistency was the word of the day on the teleconference and Kill expounded on that topic.
"It's hard to get that consistent level of play," Kill said. "I think if you look at the teams that are playing good consistent football, they're teams that are veteran, that are older, guys that have been through it, those kinds of things.
"When you've got a young team you've got to keep pushing them, practicing hard and hopefully you'll develop that consistency."
How is Harnish after seeing limp around towards the end of the game?
Finally, asked if quarterback Chandler Harnish was fine after getting hit by safety Barry Church late in the fourth quarter, Kill said "We'll see." Harnish declared himself to be 100 percent and ready for Miami (Ohio) while speaking with reporters about 20 minutes after the game.
Barry Church is just ridiculous. The Special Teams was flat out-coached on Saturday.
Toledo coach Tim Beckman said he noticed something in Northern Illinois' blocking scheme on field goals against Idaho and a subsequent block installation paid off in the Rockets' 20-19 victory against the Huskies this past Saturday at Toledo.
Toledo safety Barry Church went through the middle of NIU's protection twice, blocking a Mike Salerno extra point and then a 42-yard field goal in the final minute to clinch the victory.
"We installed a middle block," Beckman said during Monday's Mid-American Conference coaches teleconference. "I think the first one definitely caught them off guard. The field goal was a max block."
"Coach (Tim) Beckman always tells us special teams are one of the biggest factors in the game. We prepared long and hard for their field goal team because we knew they had openings up the middle," Church said. "It was wide open and I took advantage of it. I just stuck my hand up and made a play."
However, K Mike Salerno believes in divine intervention:
"It just wasn’t meant to be."
Why stop there, the offense was out-coached as well. Church again!
But it was the first half that had NIU’s offensive players and coaches shaking their heads.
Part of the credit for that goes to Toledo’s defensive gameplan, Limegrover said.
Especially with safety Barry Church, who played a major role throughout the game in addition to his blocked extra point and blocked field goal.
"They played Church high as a safety so they could get him down on plays and play as another linebacker, which we hadn’t seen before," Limegrover said. "That was to stop our power run game and that’s why we started spreading them out."
"I think it was more us than him. We missed a few tackles on him, let him get leverage on us a few times," Hanson said. "I think we just have to tackle better and that’s just a testament to our team coming out and being ready for the game.
The last part of that sentence doesn't make any sense in this context. I think he's trying to say that the team wasn't ready for the game and missed tackles. Who knows. DE Sean Progar adds to this theory:
Basically. We came out soft. That’s the only thing I can say. As a defense, and myself included, we thought we were ready for the game but we came out slow. They hit us in the mouth and we got down early.
That sounds exactly like quotes from the Idaho game. This sounds familiar as well:
We weren’t sure who was playing but it really wasn’t on him. We didn’t get pressure and we needed to stop the run early and we didn’t do that. If they can run the ball on us then the pass opens up and we just got down early.
A haunting stat that we can't change any time soon:
In 37 meetings, NIU has never won back-to-back games against Toledo.