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NIU struggles in all facets in loss to Central Michigan

Northern Illinois defense stops Central Michigan running back Kobe Lewis,
4, Nov. 2 at Kelly Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, MI.
Northern Illinois defense stops Central Michigan running back Kobe Lewis, 4, Nov. 2 at Kelly Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, MI.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan – Northern Illinois came into its Mid-American Conference matchup against Central Michigan Saturday riding the highs of a 49-0 win over Akron the previous week.

The Huskies (3-5, 2-3) played poorly against CMU (6-4, 4-2) on Saturday in Kelly/Shorts Stadium and fell to the Chippewas, 48-10.

NIU had plenty of struggles throughout the game but had a bright spot as quarterback Ross Bowers was able to find wide receiver Spencer Tears for a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

But by that time, Central Michigan had already built its lead to an insurmountable point.

Bowers, outside of the touchdown drive, struggled mightily against the Chippewas.

The senior had three interceptions on consecutive drives to open the second half, when NIU already was down by 28 points.

Running back Jordan Nettles coughed up the football to give the Huskies four straight drives ending in turnovers. However, the four turnovers only yielded 10 points to Central Michigan.

Hammock said he was disappointed in the way his team played Saturday.

“We’ve got to make plays,” Hammock said. “We threw three picks; we could have made three picks. We just didn’t make the plays. When you look at a football game like that, you have to assess both sides, and I think coach (Jim) McElwain is doing a great job.”

In returning from injury, Bowers struggled, throwing the three interceptions. He also was harassed throughout the game.

Junior quarterback Marcus Childers also played for the Huskies. Childers got the start, and Bowers made his way into the game after the first drive.

Hammock said that the offense was not impressed with the offensive effort from his team.

“Not really,” Hammock said when asked if he saw positives from the offense. “I just didn’t, to be honest. Childers started, Bowers came in. He didn’t practice until Friday, so we were kind of behind the sticks on that. We got pinned deep early, and we could never recover from that.”

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