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updated: 9/14/2011 4:24 PM

Northern Illinois coach faces friends at Wisconsin

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  • Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, middle, celebrates a touchdown with teammates DeMarcus Grady (3) and Scott Wedige (71) Saturday during the first half against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

      Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, middle, celebrates a touchdown with teammates DeMarcus Grady (3) and Scott Wedige (71) Saturday during the first half against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.
    Associated Press

  • Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish gets past Kansas safety Bradley McDougald, right, for a touchdown Saturday during the first half in Lawrence, Kan.

      Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish gets past Kansas safety Bradley McDougald, right, for a touchdown Saturday during the first half in Lawrence, Kan.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

DeKALB -- Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren insists this week's game against No. 7 Wisconsin is no different from any other on the Huskies' schedule.

Never mind that he spent the last five years in Madison, the longest stop in his professional career. Or that he's been friends with Wisconsin's co-defensive coordinators so long he considers them brothers. Or that he knows the Wisconsin players so well he refers to them by their first names instead of their last names or uniform numbers.

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When the game starts, Doeren says, his only concern will be Northern Illinois. He'll resume his friendships with the Wisconsin players and staff after the game. But this week, Doeren says, "is about us playing against them."

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