Flashes look to get back on track at Northern Illinois

Taylor Rosen

The Flashes will have to play a complete 60 minutes this Saturday if they want to defeat a conference powerhouse like the Northern Illinois Huskies on the road.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” coach Paul Haynes said. “Northern is a very good football team, and arguably one of the best teams in this conference, year in and year out. They’re a good football team right now coming off of a bye. I’m sure they got rested up and healthier, but our guys will be ready to roll come Saturday.”

The team must take care of the football if it wants to compete with the Huskies.

“Playing against good competition is what you really want to do,” sophomore wide receiver Ernest Calhoun said. “You want to play against the best to not only see how you matchup against them, but just to continue to get better. It’s good to know that our team can put the first half of the season behind us, and to know we can still go out there and continue to get better and win the MAC is a good feeling.”

Haynes said the team had great effort in the first half of last week’s game against the University of Virginia.

“If you take away the sack yardage and it was probably our best game running the football,” Haynes said. “We just couldn’t overcome the turnovers in the second half, and we got a little bit worn down in the second half.”

The Flashes have turned it over eight times in their last two games.

The Flashes did manage to force turnovers last Saturday in Virginia, which is something they must continue to do and build off of. Redshirt freshman Jontey Byrd made his first career interception, and senior cornerback Malcolm Pannell made his fourth career interception and first of the season.

“It was great to come up with that interception,” Pannell said. “It was a great play, and we needed it because it shifted the momentum in our favor.”

The Flashes will hope to pull off an upset against the Huskies. The game will kick off at 5 p.m.

“Being the underdog is always more fun,” Calhoun said. “Nobody expects anything from you, so that gives you the reason to go out there and give it your best.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].

Game note

The National Football Foundation recently announced Kent State senior defensive end Nate Vance as one of 62 Football Bowl Subdivision semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy, which is an award for college football’s premiere scholar-athlete.

“It’s an honor,” Vance said. “I appreciate the athletic department for nominating me. They have really done so much to help me out. They will break their backs for any of us. They really care about us as athletes, and more importantly as students so it means a lot.”