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npklemm

[2023] Season in Review: Northern Illinois

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MACConferenceFeatureLogo.png?w=1200

 

Coach: @13ad

Pre-Season Projection: 3-9

Final Record: 2-10 (1-7), 6th in MAC West 

 

I didn't have much hope for the Huskies entering the season. They had lost a starting QB, and a huge impact ILB and CB on Defense. They didn't return enough talent to be a contender in the loaded West. They had massive turnover issues on Offense and went several weeks seemingly unable to defend the pass on Defense.

 

Schedule

 

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Again, a MAC team went 1-3 against their OOC. They beat FAU in a surprise win in week 3, but were demolished by Clemson and Rutgers and lost closely to Georgia Tech. In Conference, they only managed to beat Kent State. They were beaten handedly by Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Toledo, and Ball State. This team was plain noncompetitive for most of the year.

 

Key Players

 

QB Emmett Mast (SR) - 278/495 3,010 Yards 56.16% 21 TD 20 INT 113.16 QB Rating

RB Khalil Eubanks (SR) - 112 Carry 386 Yards 1 TD 3.45 YPC

WR Maxwell Rider (JR) - 69 Rec 909 Yards 8 TD 7 Drop

WR Gabriel Davidson JR - 73 Rec 808 Yards 7 TD 6 Drop

OLB Ivan Rosenberg SR - 35 Tackle 5 TFL 1 Sack

ILB Oliver McNeal (SR) - 65 Tackle 6 TFL 1 Sack 2 FF

SS Antonio Weeks (JR) - 42 Tackle 2 INT 2 PD 2 FF

DT Ronnie Riley (JR) - 22 Tackle 4 TFL 5 Sack

 

Emmett Mast had a tough year. The Huskies asked him to do far too much, and he didn't respond well. He started the year off by throwing 5 Picks against Clemson. He would throw 15 more Picks through the next 11 Games. He graduates this year, and I don't know that Huskies fans will miss him too much. Khalil Eubanks has been embattled his entire career. He finished the season with 386 Yards (32 Yards/Game). He scored just 1 TD in 12 games, while averaging 3.45 YPC. Makes sense now why Mast had to throw it over 40 Times a game. With a volume passing game, comes big numbers for receivers. Rider and Davidson teamed up again and combined for over 1,700 Yards with 15 TDs and 13 Drops. Mast wasn't great, but he didn't always get the help he needed from this duo as evidenced by the 13 Drops. Rosenberg and McNeal teamed up over the middle of the defense. They did what they could, but it wasn't enough. Riley lead the team with 5 Sacks, and was the most effective pass rusher. Antonio Weeks had a big impact from the secondary, forcing 4 turnovers and impacting a couple other passes. But again, these 4 just weren't enough.

 

Impact Recruits

 

None

 

Like Eastern Michigan, the Huskies didn't get any Pro Potential players and finished among the worst recruiting classes in the country. They did pick up a 3.5 C, G, and FS. But, that doesn't build a team. That's depth, but it doesn't rebuild your team. Those being the heart of your class is not a good sign for the future.

 

Season Awards

 

ILB Oliver McNeal - All-MAC, 1st Team

OLB Ivan Rosenberg - All-MAC, 2nd Team

SS Antonio Weeks - All-MAC, 2nd Team

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