Northern Illinois ready for its moment in sun


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Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2012, 8:22 pm
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By Fred Mitchell
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Bright lights, big stage.

This is what Northern Illinois aspired to after reeling off 12 straight victories, another Mid-American Conference championship and a No. 15 ranking in the BCS standings.

"They won't have stage fright, I can tell you that," NIU coach Rod Carey said of his team's historic appearance against Florida State in tonight's Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.

The Huskies will become the first team from the MAC to appear in a BCS bowl.

"We're excited for NIU and excited for the MAC," Carey said.

"It's a validation of a lot of things we've talked about in the last couple of years," MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.

The whirlwind of events has seen the Huskies win the MAC title over Kent State in overtime. NIU coach Dave Doeren then left to take over at North Carolina State. And Carey was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach as the Huskies received the controversial invitation to the Orange Bowl.

"Our concern is always being too excited," Carey said. "You try to take that away from them by focusing on the little things, on the details, and make it routine for them — muscle memory."

Carey said he has had several conversations with Doeren about this record-setting NIU team, and also about Florida State. N.C. State handed the Seminoles one of their two losses this season, 17-16 on Oct. 6.

(Doeren) has looked at the film and I've looked at the film, and (we) compared notes," Carey said. "We've talked a ton about it."

NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch has not been shy about expressing his confidence that the Huskies can pull off a major upset. Asked to describe his toughness, mindset and attitude, the Mount Carmel product said:

"Living in Chicago growing up, kind of blue-collar and always got a chip on your shoulder and (a guy who) always does things the right way and respects the game."

Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner has taken notice of Lynch's bold statements.

"I heard their quarterback says they have an up-tempo offense and that they are looking forward to running us in the grass," Joyner said. "That's all I know about the offense, other than what I see on film. They've got some good football players. Otherwise, they wouldn't be 15th in the country or be in the Orange Bowl, so we are looking forward to the challenge."

Regarding Lynch's extreme confidence, Joyner said: "It makes football that much more interesting. When you put that bull's-eye on yourself, you have to be able to walk the talk. I respect it. I like it. I think it's cute."

















 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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