Huskies Get Ready to Play in "Rollerdome"

The official name for the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers is the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. In 1987, Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka dubbed it "the rollerdome" for the amount of noise that opposing teams have to deal with in this hostile environment.

As Northern Illinois heads into their season opener in the dome on Saturday night, the Huskies are preparing for the loud noise.

NIU head coach Jerry Kill has experience dealing with the volume in hostile domes. "I've never been in their particular dome," Kill said. "I've played in some loud environments and in domes. We feel like we've got a good plan for that. The University of Montana taught me a lot when I was in I-AA. The quarterback that plays for the Cowboys said that's the loudest environment, including the NFL, that you can play in. We've played in the dome at Northern Iowa, which is a compact dome. You couldn't hear anything there. We're prepared for the noise. The best way to handle that is to do well. We don't have a dome to practice in or anything like that, but I think we're prepared for it."

Fans can expect the Huskies to use hand signals and cards on the sidelines to call plays against the Gopher defense and the volume that their twelveth man brings.

"We have a silent snap from the shotgun now, but we just have to be really loud up front," said NIU center Eddie Adamski.


Kill is undefeated in games against Big 10 opponents. He is 1-0 against the Big 10, owning a victory over Indiana while at Southern Illinois.

The status of offensive lineman Jason Onyebuagu remains uncertain for Saturday's game as Kill is bringing him along slowly. "J.O." is coming back from surgery on his left knee in the off-season.

Kill is playing things close to the vest and will not name a starting quarterback until Saturday. Senior Dan Nicholson and redshirt freshman Chandler Harnish are vying for the starting spot.

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