Q & A with Red and Black Attack
In preparation for Friday’s season finale against Northern Illinois, I posed several questions to Mike Breese, of the Northern Illinois blog Red and Black Attack.
1. What went wrong for the Huskies in the two early season losses?
Chandler Harnish didn’t start the first game against Iowa State and that ended up being the difference in that game. You can look at this a hundred different ways, but DeMarcus Grady was the #1 guy throughout the spring and fall when Harnish was still rehabbing his bum knee. Now he’s back, we’re undefeated in the MAC and is the frontrunner for MVP. Sour grapes.
NIU and Illinois are extremely even teams and the one difference in that game was the fumble that Harnish had in the 4th quarter. Illinois didn’t turn the ball over at all and Mikel Leshoure is an amazing running back who absolutely destroyed Northwestern this past weekend. Not to mention their defense, especially their front seven is a Top-20 unit. Just stud athletes all over the place. There were no holes to run through as Chad Spann averaged just 1.2 ypc in that one.
2. What adjustments did the team make following those losses?
Chandler Harnish became the starting QB and the offense became a lot less conservative. It’s kind of a chicken and the egg thing. I have never seen an NIU offense do the type of things that they are doing this season. It took a while, but the offensive line finally gelled together and are playing at an amazing level right now.
3. Suppose for a moment that EMU somehow does the impossible and wins on Friday. Travel forward in time to Friday night and tell me how it happened?
The Huskies come out flat and unenthused. Harnish tries to make too much happen on his own, throws a pick-six, fumbles the ball away once or twice. The Huskies can’t score in the redzone, as our kicker misses his first three attempts. Our defense gives up big play after big play to the potent EMU offense. I could actually foresee this happening (hope it doesn’t!)
4. I know that Chandler Harnish and three of the four top receivers will be back next year, but Chad Spann will be a big loss. As the 2010 season nears its close (at least for EMU), what do you see in the works for 2011? Is there much concern among Northern Illinois fans about Kill being hired away by a bigger program?
Spann’s more of an all-around type of back. Next year we’ll probably rotate a lot more players in as kind a thunder and lightning type of deal. Watch out for the speedy Jasmin Hopkins off of the edge or the freight train that is Cameron Bell running through the defense. Not too concerned about Coach Kill leaving until a job opens up in Kansas, which is where he and most of his coaching staff are from.
5. What’s one other thing EMU fans should know about the Huskies?
We have extremely passionate fans who will be spending a lot of time in Michigan these next couple weeks. If you see one of us, feel free to conversate. Happy Thanksgiving!