The Northern Illinois Huskies will host the UNLV Rebels to start the season. Last year these to teams faced off in Vegas and the Huskies, after building a big lead only to let it slip away, escaped the desert with the victory.
This year the Rebels have a new head coach - Tony Sanchez - who has never coached a college game in his life. Sanchez, who was a high school coach just a year ago, wont have much of a defense to work with, nor will he have UNLV's top playmaker from a year ago, Devante Davis.
The Huskies, however, return most of their starters on both sides of the ball and look to continue right where they left off last year.
Quick Game Info
Game Time, Date: September 5th, kickoff scheduled for 7:30 (6:30 CST, 4:30 PST).
Location: Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Illinois, where NIU is celebrating the stadium's 50th Anniversary this season. Since 2009 NIU is 31-2 at home, losing only to Idaho in 2009 and CMU last year.
TV: The game can be seen on CBSSports Network (Comcast 232, AT&T 1643, DirecTV 221)
Radio: FM 98.9 in DeKalb and AM 560 and WLBK (AM 1360) for Chicagoland, but the game will not be streamed on their websites so you need to tune in.
Odds: NIU is currently a 23 point favorite to win with the O/U being set at 62 points.
Players to Watch
Tommylee Lewis (WR, NIU) - Lewis returns this season after missing the majority of last year with a lingering foot injury. He's one of the quickest players on the field at all times and a great playmaker that Drew Hare will love to have this year.
Blake Decker (QB, UNLV) - Decker torched the Huskies for just under 400 yards and two touchdowns last year. The senior has had some turnover issues, as he threw 18 INT and just 15 TDs a season ago. But if he limits his mistakes, he a decent passer.
Joel Bouagnon (RB, NIU) - With the loss of power runner Cameron Stingily, it will be up to Bouagnon to lead the committee of running backs the Huskies will use to fill that void. It will be interesting to see how he can handle being the main back.
Kenny Golladay (WR, NIU) - The 6'4 transfer will should be a new favorite of Drew Hare, especially in the redzone. Golladay has quite a few expectations coming into the season and most Huskie fans can't wait to see him play.
Peni Vea (DB, UNLV) - Vea amassed 88 tackles last season, most of them solo (56) so if he gets his hands on you, you'll probably be tackled. He also added 7.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, a pick, and a forced fumble. He is one of the leaders of the defense that looks to improve vastly this year.