This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011
These past few years have been a whirlwind for Northern Illinois football. The Huskies pretty much came out of nowhere to become one of the best mid-major programs in the country in the early 2000s. This wasn't the result of one win, but rather a long journey that Joe Novak had been working on since he arrived and went 1-10 in 1996. I know I'm probably missing a lot of moments, but I feel like this is a good mix from my personal perspective as a Huskie fan.
5. Garrett Wolfe exorcises the Rocket demons. 2005: NIU 35, Toledo 17.
We had not beaten the rockets since 1972, but Wolfe and the rest of this Northern Illinois team helped seal the deal in Toledo, OH. It was great to finally get that monkey off of our backs, so that we could later clinch a berth in the MAC Championship.
4. Wolfe starts it up in the Big House. NIU 17, Michigan 35.
When it meant something to beat Michigan, Garrett pulled off to this day one of the greatest runs that I had ever seen. This tightened the score to 10-14, and everybody was thinking that we had a shot at winning the game. 4 lost fumbles and an int didn't help the cause though. I was in the stadium for this one and it was also being broadcast on ABC.
3. Steve Azar forces an overtime vs. Wake Forest, Huskies hold on to win. 2002: Wake Forest 41, NIU 42
The win that ushered in a new era in Huskie athletics. All though the Huskies would drop the next three games, they showed they could beat the big boys and almost went undefeated in-conference that year.
2. Rain rain go away. The Huskies hold out and win the Silicon Valley Bowl. 2004: Troy 21, NIU 34.
I didn't think I'd ever be able to watch this game due to technical problems, but this was the first bowl win for the Huskies in over 20 years. Senior Josh Haldi goes out on top and Garrett Wolfe was a stud as only a sophomore.
1. NIU upsets the #15 Terrapins aka the biggest win in school history. Maryland 13, NIU 20.
Novak's expression at the end of this video says it all: