2012 Northern Illinois Huskies Football Preview
2011 Record: 11-3 (7-1 Mid-American)
Head Coach: Dave Doeren, second season (11-3 all at Northern Illinois)
Projected Returning Starters: 13
Spring Game: April 21st (Red 31 White 6)
Notes: Despite losing head coach Jerry Kill to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Huskies posted another 11 win season, under first year coach Dave Doeren. Having a quarterback who totaled over 11000 yards in four seasons didn’t hurt, as Chandler Harnish led Northern Illinois to back-to-back MAC West Titles; the Huskies also won the MAC Championship last season.
BVTSB Take: The Huskies are going to have the tough task of replacing Harnish in 2012. Jordan Lynch projects to be the starter this season under center. Third leading rusher Akeem Daniels returns, but the top two leading rushers for NIU, Harnish and Jasmin Hopkins, graduate. Harnish and Hopkins accounted for 71.2% of the yards on the ground and 76.5% of the rushing touchdowns. Despite the loss at quarterback and running back, NIU will have a veteran presence at receiver, with seniors Martel Moore and Perez Ashford returning, two of the top three leading receivers. Second leading receiver Nathan Palmer graduates. The Huskies faced Army, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Cal Poly in 2011, beating Army and Cal Poly in DeKalb. In 2012, they will again play Army and Kansas, as well as Iowa and Tennessee-Martin. The Huskies could start 2-2, if Lynch makes a smooth transition. The Huskies play the weaker MAC East teams – Buffalo, Akron, and Massachusetts. But they also have road games against Ball State and Western Michigan. Expect the Huskies to take a step back in 2012.
2012 Early Projection: 7-5
To see the 2012 MAC composite schedule, click here.
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