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First Four Scouting: NIU Watch

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Huskies Third in MAC Preseason Poll


Huskies Third in MAC Preseason Poll

NIU Has Played in Last 6 MAC Championship Games

Link to Complete Poll
DETROIT  – For the second-straight year, the defending Mid-American Conference West Division champion Northern Illinois University football team was tabbed to finish third in the division in 2016 in the poll released today during the 2016 MAC Media Day at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Huskies, who tied an NCAA record with six straight division titles with their 2015 crown, tallied 112 points, garnering three first-place votes in the 2016 poll. NIU finished one point behind Toledo (113).  Western Michigan was picked to win the division with 144 points and 19 first-place votes. Central Michigan (98) was fourth, Ball State (44) fifth and Eastern Michigan (35) sixth, rounding out the West.
Bowling Green, which has been the Huskies' opponent in each of the last three MAC Championship games, is the MAC East favorite for 2016. The Falcons, who tallied 136 points with 12 first-place votes, edged out Ohio for the top spot. The Bobcats, who were the Huskies' opponent in the 2011 MAC Championship game, earned 134 points and 10 first-place votes.
Akron (107) was tabbed for third in the East, while Buffalo (75) and Miami (52) were picked for fourth and fifth, respectively. Kent State picked up 42 points and rounds out the East Division teams.
NIU Head Coach Rod Carey said the Huskies do not let preseason polls affect their belief in the team and what it can achieve.
"I don't think we don't get phased by [the poll]," Carey said. "It's out there, people see it, we see it and then we move on. It's not something that affects our daily life. We've got work to do and if you're worried about what other people are saying, you're not worried about the work you've got in front of you."
NIU returns 16 starters, six on offense, six on defense and four specialists, from last year's squad, including All-America cornerback Shawun Lurry and MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Aregeros Turner. The Huskies return their leading passer, rusher and receiver from last year and three starting offensive linemen. In addition to six division titles, the Huskies have made a MAC-record eight-straight bowl appearances, dating back to 2008.
The Huskies, who have won 65 games over the past six seasons, tied for the sixth-highest total in the country, open 2016 preseason practices on Sunday, August 7. Carey said NIU players are ready for the season to get underway.
"I think our attitude is great," he said. "I think the kids are focused, I think they've had one heck of a summer and I know they're chomping at the bit to get on the field. There's great energy between the staff and the players. aaThe guys are ready to put the pads on, they've been lifting and running so much this summer, they're ready for that."
The Huskies open the 2016 season Sept. 3 at Wyoming. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. Central Time and the game can be seen on CBS Sports Network. NIU's home opener is scheduled for Sept. 17 when the Huskies welcome San Diego State to Huskie Stadium (2:30 p.m. CT/CBSSN).

Order or renew NIU football season tickets now and get the best pricing for all five Huskie Stadium home football games in 2016 and the historic Huskie Chi-Town Showdown game versus Toledo at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on November 9. Season tickets start at just $99 for a single ticket or $299 for a Family Pack of four season tickets; all 2016 football season tickets include the Huskie Chi-Town Showdown game. To order season tickets, go online to NIUHuskies.com/tickets or call 815-753-PACK (7225).

NIU single game tickets go on sale Monday, August 1. 

-- NIU --
(As in previous seasons, feel free to append additional NIU articles/links of interest)
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