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Northern Illinois Huskies Betting – 2011 Northern Illinois Huskies College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/17/2011 12:44:38 PM
northern illinois huskies betting

Even the MLB baseball betting experts who focus on the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox know that Northern Illinois University’s football program had a very difficult month of December in 2010. The Huskies were one fourth-down stop away from beating Miami University in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game in Detroit, but the NIU secondary sprang a leak and allowed Miami to convert and eventually score a game-winning touchdown. That setback ripped through the Huskies’ locker room, but that was just the beginning of the heartache for the Huskies. Plenty of sports betting gurus noticed when head coach Jerry Kill pounced on an open position at the University of Minnesota. When Kill departed before the Humanitarian Bowl against Fresno State, it was easy to think that the Huskies were going to fade away. Instead, NIU ripped Fresno State, scoring 40 points in the process. The Huskies will find it hard to match last year’s journey under new head coach Dave Doeren, but the Humanitarian Bowl win could enable this team to remain confidence throughout 2011.

The Huskies return seven starters from an offense that was terrific last season, especially on the ground. Thanks to 1,300-yard rusher Chad Spann, the Huskies rushed for over 260 yards per contest, good enough for seventh best in the FBS. Northern Illinois also scored 38 points per game and posted 45 points in five contests. This team lost to most of its BCS conference foes, but in the MAC, it went 8-1 in authoritative fashion.

Spann will be gone this season. Jasmine Hopkins will likely be asked to fill his shoes. Quarterback Chandler Harnish, who threw for over 2,500 yards last season, is back for his senior year. That’s why a sports bet should still predict a MAC West division championship for NIU this season. Harnish makes plays as an open-field runner, a skilled ball-faking artist, and as a passing. With Harnish at the controls once more, the Huskies shouldn’t miss too much of a beat on offense. They should be able to come very close to the numbers they posted last season, and the numbers they posted last season were substantial. The only real hiccup for NIU in 2010 came in the MAC title game, and if the Huskies are strong enough to go back to Detroit on the first Friday of December, one shouldn’t expect them to fail a second time.

The NIU defense proved to be more than competent last season as well. Northern Illinois gave up only 18 points per game. This season, however, the Huskies return just two starters from last year’s squad. The offense will be expected to make up the difference. Harnish is the kind of player who can do as much.

After nearly upsetting Wisconsin in 2009, Northern Illinois will host Wisconsin during week three. Two weeks earlier, the Huskies open up their regular season against Army. A week later, the Huskies will travel to Kansas to tackle the Jayhawks. The Huskies do not play either Ohio, Miami (Ohio), or Temple during the regular season. Such good fortune should pay dividends for Northern Illinois in the MAC race. The Huskies have the best chance of anyone to win the conference this season.

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