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updated: 8/29/2011 9:40 AM

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Coach: Dave Doeren (1st year)

2010 record: 11-3, 8-0 (first in MAC West); won Humanitarian Bowl over Fresno State.

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All-MAC candidates: QB Chandler Harnish, WR Martel Moore, LT Trevor Olson, C Scott Wedige, RG Joe Pawlak, DE Sean Progar, MLB Pat Schiller, CB Rashaan Melvin, KR/PR/S Tommy Davis.

The Huskies will go to a bowl: Provided the inexperienced defense lives up to its promise. NIU has seven new starters on that side of the ball, though all seven joined the Huskies as part of Jerry Kill's plan to upgrade the defense's speed and athleticism.

Numbers to know: NIU led the MAC last year in points (38.0 ppg) and points allowed (18.9 ppg). TCU (Mountain West) and Boise State (WAC) were the only other schools to pull off the double.

Final Sagarin rating the last five seasons (2010 listed first): 46th, 95th, 100th, 150th, 85th.

-- Lindsey Willhite

Huskies schedule

Sept. 3 ARMY 6 p.m. (ESPN3.com)

Sept. 10 Kansas 6 p.m. (Fox College Sports)

Sept. 17 WISCONSIN* 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)

Sept. 24 CAL POLY 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 1 Central Michigan 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)

Oct. 8 KENT STATE 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 15 WESTERN MICHIGAN 2:30 p.m. (CSN)

Oct. 22 Buffalo 11 a.m. (ESPN+ or ESPN3.com)

Nov. 1 Toledo 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Nov. 8 Bowling Green 7 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

Nov. 15 BALL STATE 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

Nov. 25 EASTERN MICHIGAN TBA (ESPNU or ESPN3.com)

Dec. 2 MAC title game**

6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Home games in CAPS

*--At Soldier Field

**--At Ford Field

Projected lineup

Offense (No-huddle/multiple)

QB *Chandler Harnish Sr.

RB Jasmin Hopkins Sr.

WR *Martel Moore Jr.

WR Willie Clark Sr.

WR *Nathan Palmer Sr.

TE Jack Marks Sr.

LT *Trevor Olson Sr.

LG *Logan Pegram Jr.

C *Scott Wedige Sr.

RG *Joe Pawlak Sr.

RT *Keith Otis Sr.

Defense (4-3)

RE Joe Windsor So.

DT Anthony Wells So.

NG Nabal Jefferson Jr.

LE *Sean Progar Jr.

OLB Jamaal Bass R-Fr.

MLB Pat Schiller Sr.

OLB Jordan Delegal Sr.

CB Rashaan Melvin Jr.

CB Dominique Ware So.

SS *Tommy Davis Jr.

FS Demetrius Stone Jr.

Special teams

K Mathew Sims So.

P Ryan Neir Jr.

KR *Tommy Davis Jr. and Perez Ashford Jr.

PR *Tommy Davis Jr.

* Denotes returning starter

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