By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Kickoff 2010 is two days away. If you haven’t already begun getting to know Northern Illinois, now is the time to do so. The Huskies are coached by Jerry Kill, who is starting his third season at Northern Illinois. To read a transcript of his Monday press conference where he discusses Iowa State quite a bit, CLICK HERE.
Below is a transcript of Kill’s MAC teleconference that was held on Monday morning.
Looking back at last season, you were first in the MAC in total defense, first in rushing offense and second in turnover margin. Those are three pretty good stats for a successful football team aren’t they?
JK: That has always been our philosophy as a coaching staff. I believe that you have to be great on defense and you have to be able to run the ball and you can’t turn it over. Those are things that we emphasize all of the time. Some years you get them, some years you don’t. It certainly is a strong emphasis here in our program.
What have you seen from Iowa State in your preparations for the Cyclones?
JK: They have an outstanding quarterback, running back and offensively, they return a lot of starters. They are a very disciplined football team and program. I compliment coach. You can tell that they do a good job at what they do. They do a great job of executing. Defensively, again, they are very well coached. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They were the number two defense in the red zone in the country last year. They are just very sound. I think that the biggest thing is that they can control field position because they are great in the kicking game. Their kicker is a tremendous kicker. They will have a freshman punter this year. I don’t know how he is. Their one from last year was awfully good.
How have you managed the high expectations for your team this year?
JK: The way things are now days with Facebook and all of the media outlets, kids know. We just talked about getting better each day and playing one game at a time. What we emphasize is trying to get better. We really know where our program is at. We are really young. We have to keep the kids grounded. We have tried to do that through hard work.
How has QB Chandler looked this fall? Are there any problems with his knee? Will he be wearing a brace or anything like that?
JK: He won’t be wearing a brace. He has gone through two-a-day practice and has done a good job.
Can you talk about the importance of Chad Spann to your offense?
JK: We like running the football and you have to have a great tailback to do that. Chad had a tremendous year for us last year. He has a knack for getting in the end zone. He has worked very hard in the offseason. He had a good camp. We look for great things from him. After him, we are very talented at that position with Jasmin Hopkins, a junior college first-team All-American. Then Cameron Bell, who won’t play in this game but will play after, is a big, strong back. We feel great about the tailback position.