Tag:Tom Matucewicz
Posted on: December 18, 2010 9:09 pm
 

Bowl Grades: Humanitarian Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Final Score: Northern Illinois 40  Fresno State 17

Northern Illinois


Offense - The Huskies set the tone on offense early, as they weren't in Boise just to have a good time, but win a football game.  The Huskies drove into Fresno territory on their first drive, and went for it on fourth down.  They didn't convert, but the message was sent.  After that failure, just about everything clicked.  I thought NIU would attack Fresno on the ground more, but Chandler Harnish had a nice day through the air as well.  Harnish finished the day with 378 total yards, 301 of which came through the air, and had 3 total touchdowns.  Chad Spann rushed for 91 yards and two scores to add to his school record of 22 rushing touchdowns this season.  All in all, Northern finished with 40 points and 505 yards.  Grade: A

Defense - While the offense provided more than enough points, the defense didn't let up much either.  The Huskies held Fresno State to 350 total yards and picked up six sacks.  The Huskies gave up a touchdown on Fresno's first drive of the game, and another late in the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand.  Grade: A

Coaching - Tom Matucewicz was filling in for Jerry Kill in this game, and it was the first time he served as a head coach on any level.  He did an excellent job.  Not only was his team prepared for this game, but they had a solid game plan and executed it. On offense they attacked Fresno's weaknesses and even went after the Bulldogs strengths succesfully.  Grade: A

Fresno State


Offense - Maybe it's the blue turf, but Fresno State's offense just doesn't seem to show up inside the city limits of Boise, Idaho.  After being shutout by Boise State earlier this season, the Bulldogs only mustered 17 points against NIU.  Ryan Colburn had a decent game, throwing for 288 yards and two touchdowns, but a lot of those yards came when the game was out of hand.  Not having Robbie Rouse at 100 percent -- Rouse played the game with his left hand in a cast -- definitely played a role in the struggles.  Grade: C-

Defense - You know who else didn't show up?  The Fresno defense.  The Bulldogs didn't look interested in trying to stop anybody from the get go, and because of that, they didn't.  NIU averaged 9.0 yards per play on Saturday night.  That's nearly a first down on every snap.  Grade: F

Coaching - It was obvious to anybody paying attention that Fresno State didn't want to be in this game.  For the third straight year Pat Hill's team laid an egg in a bowl game.  There's a reason Hill is now 0-6 against non-AQ teams in bowl games and 4-1 against BCS teams: unless Fresno State is playing a "big time" team, Hill and his boys just don't care. It's a shame.  Grade: F

Final Grade


Five of the last six years the Humanitarian Bowl game down to the closing minutes.  That simply just wasn't the case this season, as Northern Illinois showed up looking to win, and Fresno State looked like it wanted to be anywhere but Boise.  It's because of this that this game wasn't incredibly enjoyable to watch, and will likely be forgotten about in the coming weeks.  Still, NIU's performance and attitude keeps the game from getting a terrible grade.  Grade: C+
 
 
 
 
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