DEKALB, Ill. — Pro football Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott talked to the Northern Illinois football team before Saturday's game against Cal Poly.
Lott, whose son Isaiah is a student at NIU, said he encouraged the players to leave their signature on the football field.
"And your signature should be that you are not going to let down your teammates," Lott said.
Quarterback Chandler Harnish certainly left his mark on Huskie Stadium, passing for two touchdowns and running for another as Northern Illinois beat the Mustangs 47-30.
Harnish's 49 touchdowns passing and 18 rushing surpassed College Football Hall of Famer George Bork's school record 65 total. Bork passed for 60 of his scores.
Against Cal Poly, Harnish was 18 of 21 for 187 yards and he rushed for another 118 yards.
"I think George might be a little upset with me," Harnish said with a smile of the player who led the Huskies to the 1963 national small college championship. "George is a great guy and a great player and a legend. He will never be forgotten. But I am very proud."
"There were a lot of things we wanted to do better, that we wanted to get off (last week's) film and put on (this week's) film," said NIU coach Dave Doeren, whose team was coming off a 49-7 loss to sixth-ranked Wisconsin. "The guys worked their butts off this week."
Northern Illinois bolted out to a 34-7 lead at halftime, but Cal Poly (1-3) dominated the third quarter, pulling to within 34-17.Nevertheless, the outcome never was in doubt.
"Those six or seven guys they have up front are good players," Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh said of the Huskies' offensive and defensive lines. "They were a load for us. We aren't the biggest team in the United States. We played at a good pad level against Montana and South Dakota State, running the ball. But these (NIU) guys play at a different pad level. As good as their backs are and as good as their quarterback is, I think that those guys up front deserve a lot of credit."
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