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Zook, Illini Say NIU a Team They Have to Respect
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois coach Ron Zook calls Northern Illinois a Big Ten team bent on becoming the best in the state.

Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase says anyone who knows Midwestern football knows the Huskies as the MAC team that regularly upsets the bigger dogs they play.

Both coach and quarterback say the Illini have to be ready Saturday for a big, physical team when NIU comes to Champaign on Saturday.

It isn't clear if Northern Illinois (1-1) will have head coach Jerry Kill on the sidelines Saturday. He has been hospitalized after suffering dehydration. Kill was treated for kidney cancer in 2005.

Zook on Tuesday called Kill a great football coach who has maintained a tradition for winning big games upsetting big teams at NIU.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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