NIU Huskies make history in BCS Orange Bowl - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

NIU Huskies make history in BCS Orange Bowl

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Whether you're a current student at Northern Illinois University or went there decades ago, you've got a reason to cheer Tuesday night.

Dozens of fans packed into Rockford's Brewsky's for the school's Orange Bowl appearance. Some people have say NIU doesn't stand a chance. Even the Huskie's biggest supporters can't believe they got the opportunity.

"Never in a thousand years did I think we'd be watching a BCS bowl game with them in it." -says NIU Alumnus Tom Jackowski.

1974 NIU graduate Chuck Blomgren agrees, "I really did not think this was possible and if they can pull this off it'll be the biggest bowl upset ever, so that's what we're pulling for."

Fans gather cheer on their boys down south.

"We couldn't make it down to Florida so we had to come out and celebrate." -says NIU Alumnus Samantha Dempsey, surrounded by her group of friends.

NIU Huskies are considered the underdog in this battle. Some fans are just proud they got the bid. But, as the Huskies start the first quarter, wall-to-wall cheers fill up the bar. Jackowski says it'll be a dog fight, but he believes they'll come out on top.

"I've watched Florida State stammer and I've watched NIU win games I didn't think they'd win so between those two things I really think it can happen tonight." -he says.

Watch-party organizers say the school has strong ties to this area.

"There are 8,000 graduates of NIU in Rockford and we're not always as active as we should be. So, we have this wonderful thing happening, we're so proud of the guys who play on our team, so proud of the athletics, of the education that we all got, and we should get together and celebrate that." -says NIU Club of Rockford Board Member Michelle Gorham.

The viewing was put together by the NIU Club of Rockford and the school's Alumni Association.

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