College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies

Northern Illinois

College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies

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College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies Keys To The Season

Biggest Key To The Northern Illinois Huskies Offense

Start moving the ball better. The Huskies had no problems controlling the clock, and the running game was okay, but the O was miserable on third downs as drive after drive just stalled.

The Huskies were 117th in the nation in third down conversion percentage, managing to convert just one try in the loss to Central Michigan, one in the win over Western Michigan, and failing to hit 30% six times. When the O converted 40% or more, the team was 3-1.

Biggest Key To The Northern Illinois Huskies Defense

1) Generate more of a pass rush so that 2) the secondary might be able to pick off more passes.

Four. That’s how many more throws the NIU defense intercepted than you did, and two came against Akron. The eight picks in 2018 weren’t great, either, but before that … 15 in 2017, 14 in 2016, 22 in 2015, and 24 in 2014.

The 2013 NIU D picked off as many passes in a win over Purdue as the defense came up with all of last year. Here’s the thing, though – that 2013 defense generated 34 sacks.

The defense didn’t always come up with 43 sacks like the 2017 version did, but the 14 from last year was just pathetic.

In 2017, Sutton Smith came up with 14 all by himself.

Key Northern Illinois Huskies Player To A Successful Season

DT Weston Kramer, Sr.
What was supposed to be a strength is now a massive issue with Matt Lorbeck and Jack Heflin transferring away from the defensive front. The Huskies desperately need a veteran leader to be the anchor, and that’s going to have to be the 6-1, 294-pound Kramer.

He followed up a strong 38-tackle sophomore season with 23 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss, but now he’ll have to be even more of a factor for the rebuilt line.

Key Game To The Northern Illinois Huskies Season

Central Michigan, Oct. 10
Where is the program at under Thomas Hammock compared to 2018? Last season, the Huskies seemed like they were going to get over a bad start after shocking Ohio on the road. They were just about to pull up out of the nosedive, and then the … ugh.

Central Michigan 48, Northern Illinois 10

This time around, it’s right in the middle of the season, and it’s in DeKalb. The schedule works out well with a whole lot of winnable games, but lose to CMU again, and all but forget about the MAC West title.
Northern Illinois Huskies Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

2019 Northern Illinois Fun Stats

– Time of Possession: NIU 32:45 – Opponents 27:15
– Sacks: Opponents 23 for 164 yards – NIU 14 for 99 yards
– Interceptions Thrown: NIU 11 – Opponents 4

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies Win Total Prediction, What Will Happen

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