Admission to the contest, as well as to the pregame activities in “The Yard,” the new official tailgate home of NIU Athletics, is free.
The Black Team for the Huskie Bowl will now consist of the entire Huskie offense, and will be led by offensive line coach Joe Tripodi, while the NIU defense will make up the Cardinal Team under defensive backs coach Kelvin Sigler. The offensive and defensive staffs will fill out each team’s coaching staff.
The two sides will compete in a set of drills covering nearly every position and special teams.
Linebackers and running backs, offensive linemen and defensive linemen and defensive backs and wide receivers will match up in one-on-one drills. Kickers Tyler Wedel and Josh Orne will engage in a field-goal battle and fans will get a chance to see players square off in one of the most competitive special teams drills.
The session will close out with several periods of “skelly” – a 7-on-7 competition giving points for third-down success – and then a full-team scrimmage which will give all three quarterbacks a chance to lead the offense. During the scrimmage periods, the defense will receive points for stops ranging from four points for forcing a turnover to no points for giving up a touchdown, while the offense must score touchdowns or field goals.
Carey said the decision to modify the format came down to numbers.
“Quite frankly, we’re a little banged up right now so we had to change it up and go more of an offense versus defense format and get some work done,” Carey said. “We came up with a good little format. I kind of like this, it will get some competition which is what we’re always about. It should accomplish what we need to accomplish, get the guys good competition, get work done and also let them have some fun.”
During the workout, NIU Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations Matt Lipman will be on the field “calling the action” for the fans, providing insight into the drills and allowing those in attendance to get an insider’s look. Coaches will judge the individual drill winners and losers.
The team will take the field at 3 p.m. and the Huskie Bowl will last approximately 90 minutes. Following the football action, fans are invited on the field for an autograph session with the NIU players.
Even with the modified Huskie Bowl, the “prize” remains the same. Either the Cardinal Defense or Black Offense, and their respective staffs, will enjoy a steak dinner, while the losing team will get hot dogs and beans.
Fans are invited to bring their completed season ticket and Huskie Athletic Fund donor renewal forms to The Yard, which will be open from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. NIU Athletics personnel will be on hand to assist and answer questions.
Inside The Yard, which is located on the West Lawn of the stadium, enjoy a pregame meal catered by Fatty’s (tickets available at the door or pre-order by calling 815-753-PACK), the Kids Zone, beer garden, music by DJ Toxic and meet the NIU men’s basketball and volleyball teams, as well as Huskie mascot Mission.