NIU Huskie Bowl Changes

DeKalb, Ill.- The annual Huskie Bowl always tops off the NIU Football team's spring practice. However, this year, the competition will be a different format due to the number of injuries. Instead of a game, the offense and defense will compete by receiving points from various drills. Players have seen many of these drills in spring practice and do them on a daily basis.

"I'm hoping to see good competition. That's the one thing that has happened here this spring. We've really competed pretty well and I like the way our team's progressing. We've got a lot of young guys in there getting a lot of reps," says Head Coach Rod Carey.

"This thing comes down at this point in the Spring to competition. And I think the way the format's set-up now, you guys will see pretty heated battles in drills that these kids have been doing all Spring" says Joe Tripodi, Black (offense) Head Coach.

"Last one of the Spring, we're going to get out there and compete like we always do. There's always a little bad blood between the offense and the defense so it's going to be real competitive. We're looking forward to it," says Michael Santacaterina, Huskies linebacker.

Huskie Bowl Drills Include:

Towel Drill-
In this special teams drill, a defensive player will attempt to grab a towel off the top of a cone located approximately 20 yards off the sideline. The offensive player will defend the cone. To score a point for his team, the player will grab the towel, or successful block the player from getting the towel.

Release Drill- Wide receivers and defensive backs will face each other on the line of scrimmage. The wide receiver must get off the line of scrimmage cleanly, as judged by coaches, to score one point for the offense. If the defensive back successfully "jams" the receiver, the defense will receive on point.

Field Goal Competition- The Huskies' two field goal kickers will each have the opportunity to kick from designated spots on the field. One kicker will be on the Cardinal Team and the other on Black. They will receive three points for each field goal made. However, if one of the kickers misses, he is out of the competition and has no more opportunities. The other kicker can continue to gather points for his team by continuing to hit field goals.

One-on-one pass rush- The offensive and defensive lines will line up against each other as a unit. One at a time, the defensive linemen will rush an offensive lineman. If the defensive lineman gets to the quarterback, the defense receives a point. If the offensive lineman successfully blocks the defender, the offense gets a point.

Pass protection- This is similar to the one-on-one pass rush drill but features linebackers and running backs. The linebackers will blitz and the running back must defend the linebacker from getting to the pop-up dummy. If the linebacker gets to the dummy, the defense gets the point. If the running back successful blocks the defender, the offense earns the point.

Skelly- This is a third down situational drill without the offensive or defensive lines. The Offense will attempt to convert a series of third downs (from five to nine yards). If the offense does not get the first down, the defense earns a point. If the offense gets the first down, they earn the point.

Scrimmage Periods- The full team will line-up but there will be no tackling to the ground ("thud" only). The ball will be placed on the minus 15-yard line. The offense receives points only by scoring a touchdown (seven points) or by kicking a field goal (three points). The defense can obtain points in the following ways:
Forcing a 3-and-out: 3 points
Stopping the offense before it gets to midfield: 2 points
Forcing a field goal: 1 point
Forcing a turnover: 4 points

Team Split
The defense is the Cardinal Team and Kelvin Sigler will serve as head coach.
The offense is the Black Team and Joe Tripodi will serve as head coach.

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