As the NIU Huskies ride their five-game winning streak Tuesday night to Huskie Stadium, senior quarterback Chandler Harnish is leading one of the most explosive offenses (41.6 points per game) in the country in 2011.
“They’re playing at a high level. When you go five games in a row without giving up a sack, that says something about not only your offensive line, but your system. We’re not just dinking and dunking it, but we’re throwing the ball downfield,” Coach Dave Doeren said.
“We’re running for over 200 yards a game. The running backs that we’re rotating in there are all contributing to that as well. Our quarterbacks, both of them, are running the ball well. Our receivers have all stepped up in different ways, at different positions, at different times,” Doeren added.
“Anthony Johnson has made some plays for us in Martel’s absence. Willie Clark has made some plays here in the last two weeks. People are paying more attention to Perez [Ashford], and because of that other guys have had to make due, and they have. Jamison [Wells] had a couple nice carries for us in the game, and is blocking extremely well. Really proud of the variety of people on the offensive side of the ball that are taking advantage of opportunities when they come their way.”
Fans who catch the 7 p.m. contest versus Ball State – either in person (students are admitted FREE with their NIU OneCards) or in the television viewing audience of ESPNU – will witness a quarterback who:
- is the ONLY quarterback in the country to rank in the Top 25 in the country in total offense (ninth – 327.8 yards/game), rushing (24th – 102.2 yards/game) and passing efficiency (14th – 155.62 rating).
- became the 10th player in NCAA FBS history to have 1,000 yards rushing and 2,000 yards passing in a season as he surpassed both milestones versus Bowling Green (Nov. 8). Harnish has 1,022 rushing and 2,256 passing yards in 2011.
- is the 23rd NCAA FBS player all-time to rush for more than 2,000 yards and pass for over 4,000 in his career with 2,626 rushing and 7,984 rushing yards.
- became only the 10th player in NCAA FBS history to have 200 passing and 200 rushing yards in the same game when he completed 14-of 27 passes for 203 yards and ran for 229 yards on 14 carries versus Western Michigan (Oct. 15).
- ranks THIRD in the Mid-American Conference in RUSHING in 2011 with an average of 102.2 yards per game.
- has nine career 100-yard rushing games, including 4 this season.
- has already set 16 NIU single season and career passing and total offense records, and ranks in the Huskies’ Top 10 all-time for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns
- is 18-5 as a starter over the last two seasons and has led the Huskies to 13 wins in their last 14 regular season Mid-American Conference games. He will become the only quarterback in school history to lead NIU to four straight bowl games.
- is a primary reason Northern Illinois is one of only FIVE teams (Northern Illinois, TCU, BYU, Southern Miss, Boise State) from non-automatic qualifying conferences to win six or more games in each of the last 4 seasons.
- earned one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards presented to individuals who excel on the field, in the classroom and as a leader.