DEKALB, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Four games into their season the NIU Huskies are still struggling to get much going on offense. Saturday at Huskie Stadium they were held to 14 points and 295 yards of offense in a 22-14 loss to the Tulsa Hurricane.
The Huskies offensive issues flared up late in the first quarter when quarterback Rocky Lombardi dropped back into his own end zone to attempt a pass, but as he cocked his arm he lost the handle on the football fumbling it. Lombardi fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety. Lombardi was pulled from the game after that. He exited having completed four of six passes for 31 yards.
Ethan Hampton took over at quarterback. He helped the Huskies mount a touchdown drive in the second quarter. It ended with Hampton making a short toss to Trayvon Rudolph who then ran into the end zone from six yards out. NIU strailed at that point 9-7. The scored remained that way at halftime.
In the third quarter a third NIU quarterback Justin Lynch made a pair of big plays. He had a 30-yard run for a first down, and he followed that up later in the drive iwth a 29-yard touchdown run. That gave the Huskies their first lead 14-9.
But Tulsa came back with a pair of field goals and a touchdown run to go up 22-14. One of those field goals was set up by a fumbled kick return by Rudolph.
The Huskies still had hope. They got the ball back with two minutes to play needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game. They moved the ball down field, but with under a minute to play Hampton had a pass over the middle intercepted snuffing out the Huskies hopes.
NIU turned the ball over three times in the game.
NIU suffers its third straight loss to drop to 1-3. Next week the Huskies will begin MAC play with a game at MAC West preseason favorite Toledo.