DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois running back Me’co Brown is hurt, but it didn’t appear serious as of Monday morning, Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said during the Mid-American coaches teleconference.
“I don’t know,” Kill said. “It’s Monday and this is when our kids go get checked out. At this point, I expect him to (play Saturday against Tennessee.)”
Brown ran for 111 yards on 17 carries against Eastern Michigan before getting hit in the fourth quarter. The true freshman stayed on the ground, grabbing his left knee. Brown had to be helped off the field and did not play after that.
Kill also addressed senior quarterback Dan Nicholson’s status.
“He got hit a couple of times,” Kill said. “We really did a good job protecting him. Of course the one time we didn’t do a good job of protecting him he took a pretty good shot in that [throwing] shoulder ... He’s a pretty sore customer right now, but hopefully he’ll bounce back.”
The Huskies (2-2, 1-1 MAC West), coming on consecutive victories, play at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tennessee (1-3). NIU’s defense has given up three points in those two games and its offense has run for 520 yards over the same stretch.
But there are major concerns with playing a Southeastern Conference team, even one near the bottom of the standings.
“They’re very well coached on the defensive side of the ball,” Kill said. “A lot of people try and get outside and they just get gobbled up on the outside.”
‘A little banged up’: NIU’s defense left its mark on the Eastern Michigan offense last Saturday.
After knocking out starting quarterback Kyle McMahon in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, Eastern Michigan was forced to bring in quarterback Andy Schmitt, who was also recovering from a shoulder injury.
“Both Kyle and Andy are a little banged up and we’re going to wait until the middle of the week to find out who can perform for us and who can’t,” Eastern Michigan coach Jeff Genyk said.