Northern Illinois football is led by head coach Thomas Hammock and he is expecting this season to be a good one. He will have experience at the quarterback position with Ricky Lombardi returning for his season season. Last year he passed for 2,597 yards and threw 15 touchdown passes and only tossed eight interceptions. If he should become unable to play, there are many good freshman waiting in the wings with Ethan Hampton and Justin Lynch, a transfer from Temple who is the younger brother of former NIU star Jordan Lynch.
Lombardi will have a trio of ball handler to give to this year with Mason Blakemore, Harrison Waylee, and Antario Brown to handle the duties. Last season’s leading ground gainer, Jay Decker, transferred to Memphis. When it comes to tossing the ball, there are a few options as Cole Tucker and Trayvon Rudolph will get the most touches. The offensive line will likely be the biggest strength of the Huskies with many quality players
The defense looks solid with Kyle Pugh back for his eighth season and missed all of last year. Joining him is Nick Rattin and Izayah Green-May. The likely 4-3 set will be anchored by defensive and Demond Taylor Jr. and James Ester.
Jordan Gandy is is the secondary leader and will be lined up with JaVaughn Byrd, Eric Rogers, and safety Louis Frye, CJ Brown and Devin Lafayette. Last year, the Huskies finished with a 9-5 overall record and 6-2 in the MAC. This year, things will be similar but looked for them to improve and get to the ten win mark in 2022. Few teams on the schedule will be able to keep up with them. we continue to bring the latest Mid America Conference sports news.
NOTE: One schedule change is the opener with Eastern Illinois has been moved to September 1st.