Huskies Dominating in Win Over Broncos

Saturday afternoon the Broncos found out just how good the #12 ranked Northern Illinois Huskies actually are. In front of a record homecoming crowd of 28,221 fans the Huskies defeated the Broncos 37-10.

The Broncos were able to put some points on the board in the first half for the first time in three weeks. That and Adam Anderson's average of 49.8 yards per punt (he had 6 punts in the game) was about the only bright spot for the Broncos. The Broncos rushed for a minus 2 yards, gained only 229 yards passing, had the ball for only 21 minutes of the 60 minute contest and they were called for 11 penalties for 80 yards including 4 personal fouls. Perhaps the biggest loss of the game for the Broncos was the loss of quarterback Chad Munson.

On the first play of the fourth quarter Munson apparently hit his hand on a helmet when he attempted a pass to Greg Jennings that fell incomplete. Up until that point Munson completed 16 of 31 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown. However, Munson was picked off twice and sacked five times for a loss of 26 yards.

The Huskies defense dominated the line of scrimmage and shut down the Broncos offense. From the start of the game the Huskies made it known that they were not going to lose the game. Trovon Riley came in to relieve Phil Reed at running back and Riley led the team with 32 yards rushing, Reed gained only 8 yards. Munson and Jon Drach was sacked a combined 7 times for a loss of 41 yards and threw a total of 3 interceptions. No Broncos receiver had over 100 yards and Kendrick Mosley led the team with 60 yards on 5 catches while extending his streak of consecutive games with catching a pass to 37 games.

Greg Jennings who caught 5 passes for just 35 yards scored the Broncos only touchdown when he caught a pass from Munson over the middle for 7 yards late in the third quarter. Robert Menchinger continued the Broncos streak of making PAT's which now stands at 70. Menchinger also connected early in the first quarter on a 29 yard field goal attempt.

As much as the Huskies defense stifled the Broncos offense their offense moved the ball almost at will against the Broncos defense. Their young offensive line didn't allow any sacks and opened up the holes for the Huskies Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Turner.

The Huskies gained 238 yards on the ground and Turner accounted for 173 of those yards and one touchdown. Turner also recorded one touchdown in the air when he caught a Josh Haldi screen pass and ran 38 yards for the score. P.J. Fleck led all Huskies with 10 catches for 103 yards and one touchdown. Brad Cieslak caught one pass, a 3 yard pass from Haldi that also went for a touchdown.

Northern Illinois place kicker Steve Azar added 3 field goals (21, 22 and 31 yards) and became the all-time leading kick scorer in the MAC.

The Broncos (3-4, 2-2 MAC) return home to prepare for rival Marshall next Saturday. The Broncos who have been all but eliminated from having a chance to win the MAC West Division are now focusing on regrouping and finishing out the season with at least a winning record and playing a spoiler role. The Huskies (7-0, 3-0 MAC) travel to Bowling Green next Saturday for a key MAC West Division match-up and they will be joined by the ESPN College Gameday crew.

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