Turner, NIU ground it out

Originally Published: November 5, 2003
By Adam Rittenberg | Special to
Northern Illinois
Huskies QB Josh Haldi wasn't trying to spite MAC leading rusher Michael Turner by rushing for 26 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries against Ball State. "It's really a matter of fear," Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak joked. Not known for his legs, Haldi has 42 carries for 85 yards this season.

"Certainly when you have a quarterback that can run out of the pocket it makes it a lot more difficult (to defend)," Novak said. "We called a lot of options with him and usually we'd like to have him pitch the ball but he tucked it down and kept it. Sometimes it's good just to have people be aware of (his running) and account for it."

Turner missed his season average of 127 yards a game by one yard against Ball State, and the Huskies got a boost from backup RB A.J. Harris. The sophomore had 106 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Harris had 99 yards rushing last year at Western Michigan in an emergency start for the injured Turner.