MARTIN, Tenn. – Northern Illinois University head football coach Dave Doeren discussed facing off against the University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawks after a tough loss to Iowa. He concentrated on rallying his team after the week one loss.
“We’re going to get refocused on a very good UT Martin football team that had an upset victory on the road at Memphis,” Doeren said.
Doeren addressed the challenges his team will face going up against a strong UT Martin defense anchored by junior DJ Roberts and senior Montori Hughes. Roberts recorded nine tackles in the 20-17 win over FBS Memphis, and was named College Sports Madness Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the week.
“They run a blitz 3-3 defense similar to what Army did last year and bring a lot of pressure. They have a defensive tackle that’s an NFL prospect who transferred from Tennessee in Montori Hughes and Roberts. I think Roberts is an excellent pass rusher,” Doeren said.
The Northern Illinois second-year head coach also noticed UT Martin quarterback Derek Carr. “Their quarterback is a thousand yards away from being the all-time passing leader in school history.” Carr is actually 897 yards behind all-time UT Martin passing leader Cade Thompson who threw for 6,260 yards over his career.
Carr’s favorite target is fellow senior Quentin Sims who had more than 60 receptions this past season.
“UT Martin’s not a team that’s not used to the big stage either. They’ve played Mississippi State and obviously Memphis. We will get their best shot,” Doeren said.
UT Martin heads to Huskie Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8. Kickoff for the NIU home opener is set for 6 p.m.