Head coach Rod Carey and some of the players tried to answer those questions Tuesday during a press conference previewing their spring practices. Carey says he's not so concerned about trying to trump last season as he is simply trying to sustain the level of excellence NIU football teams have demonstrated for the past decade.
"Our view is do what we've been doing around here for a long time and try to do it as much the same way as we can, and then good things happen," says Carey.
But Carey knows the fans, the media...everyone will be expecting more from the Huskies than ever before, especially with 13 starters returning on offense and defense.
"I'd rather have expecatations high," says Carey. Because then you're going to be going after good things not just mediocrity."
"We all have chips on our shoulder and we come to work hard every day," says cornerback Sean Evans. "I think with that formula it's brough us to the level of play that this program has reached."
"I think our expectations are just going to continue to go higher and higher as we keep reaching more and more of our goals," says offensive tackle Matt Krempel. "So I think we really have high hopes for next year."
Carey says the Huskies will emphasize the importance of running the ball and being able to stop the run this season. He says some of the questions marks going into the spring will be replacing receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford and three top defensive linemen who have graduated.
He also says losing to
"They were rouged up a little in that Orange Bowl," says Carey. "That didn't leave a real good taste in their mouth."