NIU Offense Erupts for 48-3 Win Over ISU

DeKALB, IL – Northern Illinois rushed for 285 yards and scored 21 points off four Indiana State turnovers, as the Huskies earned the 48-3 non-conference triumph over the Sycamores at Huskie Stadium on Saturday afternoon, giving Jerry Kill his first victory as the head coach of the Huskies.

Four NIU players rushed for more than 40 yards, and three scored touchdowns on the ground. Senior Montell Clanton (Rockford, Ill./Guilford) led the team with 10 carries for 61 yards and a score, while quarterback DeMarcus Grady (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) ran the ball eight times for 53 yards and added a touchdown scamper in the second quarter that gave NIU a 31-0 advantage.

Grady split time under center with senior Dan Nicholson (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice), completing both of his passes for 24 yards, including a 19 yard touchdown pass to Matt Simon (Farmington, Minn./Farmington) on the first pass attempt of his career.

Nicholson went 5-for-10 and put the Huskies on the board with a nine-yard toss to Reed Cunningham (Cambria, Wis./Pardeeville) midway through the first quarter.

Northern Illinois kicker Mike Salerno (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg/Winona State) added a 46-yard field goal to increase the lead to 10-0 at the end of the first.

Huskie defensive back Bradley Pruitt (Chicago, Ill./Hyde Park) picked off an Indiana State pass and returned it 54 yards to the end zone, extending NIU's advantage to 17-0 with 9:52 left in the contest.

Grady scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter, and the Sycamores scored their only points of the game with a 42-yard field goal from Braulio Martinez in the final seconds of the half to make the score 31-3 at the break.

The Huskies outscored the Sycamores 17-0 in the second half, including a 1-yard score from Clanton and a 55-yard touchdown burst through the middle by Chad Spann (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central).

Northern Illinois racked-up 363 yards of total offense, and didn't punt until late in the third quarter. The Huskies haven't scored more than 48 points since 2004, when NIU defeated Western Michigan, 59-38, in Kalamazoo.

The NIU defense held Indiana State to just 31 yards rushing and 154 yards total, while intercepting three Sycamore passes and forcing three fumbles. The Huskies compiled 13 tackles for loss, including sacks by Brandon Bice (McCook, Ill./Lyons Township) and Craig Rusch (Hilbert, Wis./Hilbert).

The Huskies return to MAC action, Saturday, Sept. 27, to face Eastern Michigan on the road at 11 a.m.

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