Senior led NIU to victory over Minnesota with 223-yard outburst
- After running for a career-best 223 yards on 15 carries Saturday to lead Northern Illinois to a 34-23 victory over Minnesota, Huskie running back Chad Spann was named the Football Bowl Subdivision National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation Sunday.
Spann averaged 14.9 yards per carry and scored on three and 61-yard touchdown runs. He had a 56-yard carry in the first quarter to set up his and Northern Illinois’ first touchdown and added a 33-yard jaunt in the second quarter. His 61-yard touchdown with 6:22 left on the clock gave NIU an insurmountable 34-16 lead.
“This is a tremendous honor, but it’s not an award I can take full credit for,” Spann said. “Everybody did a great job from the offensive line, to the fullbacks, eight ends and wide receivers. The offense was clicking very well (versus Minnesota). We made some subtle adjustments from last week and that made everybody relax a little bit more.”
Spann recorded the first 200-yard rushing game for the Huskies since Garrett Wolfe totaled 203 yards versus Central Michigan on Nov. 17 2006. His 223 yard-total is the 26th-highest rushing game in school history.
He leads the Mid-American Conference and ranks 13th in the country in rushing yards with 114.50 per game and has 1,986 yards on 344 carries in his Northern Illinois career. For the year, Spann is averaging 6.9 yards per carry with 458 yards on 66 totes. He scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the season (all rushing) and now ranks fifth all-time at NIU in rushing scores with 31.
Spann is the first Huskie to earn the Walter Camp weekly recognition since 2006 when Wolfe earned the honor following his 353-yard outburst Sept. 20, 2006 at Ball State. Defensive end Larry English was named the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Defensive Player of the Week after a five-sack performance versus Idaho in 2007.
The Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week was North Carolina State linebacker Nate Irving. The Walter Camp Football Foundation honors one offensive and one defensive player as its national Bowl Subdivision player of the week during the regular season. Recipients are selected by a panel of national media members and administered by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Northern Illinois (2-2) opens Mid-American Conference play Saturday with its third straight road game when the Huskies visit Akron.
For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.