NSU looking to turn the page in Week 5 against Eastern Illinois

Northwestern State is coming off of a bye week, ready to get back on track and find their way in the column against Eastern Illinois.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - Northwestern State is coming off of a bye week, ready to get back on track and find their way in the column.

The Demons will face their last non-conference opponent on their schedule in Eastern Illinois, who is no stranger to the conference.

Demons’ quarterback Tyler Vander Waal suffered a UCL sprain in the Week 3 matchup against Stephen F. Austin, and there is no status on his injury before Saturday’s game.

“I think injuries do change things, and the ability to see where guys are coming off of those injuries,” said Demons’ head coach Brad Laird. “We will get through the week, and see who is able to go and who is not. There is a lot to be determined, not just at the quarterback position but at a lot of positions.”

Laird mentioned that Grambling transfer Quaterius Hawkins could potentially see the field for the third time this season.

In Week 3 against Stephen F. Austin, Hawkins came in relief for Vander Waal and went 7 for 19, 62 yards, 1 touchdown and two interceptions.

“We have gone through a lot,” said Hawkins. “We have taken a lot of beatdowns. We just have to come together, regroup and prepare to make each other better.”

After the matchup against Stephen F. Austin, Laird mentioned there were a few things that needed to be addressed on and off the field. During the bye week, he said it was a long week but progress was made.

“The bye week could have come at a good time, but after Saturday night, I was ready to play again,” said Laird. “You want to get that taste out of your mouth because that is not us, that is not this football team, the way we play and that is not the way we are going to play.”

Many of the players have said the upcoming matchup against Eastern Illinois will help the offense and defense find their identity and help turn the page.

“I think this upcoming game, we are going to get the ball rolling,” said Hawkins.

Tyler Vander Waal’s injury status, and if he will be the starting quarterback on Saturday, will not be known until closer to kickoff.

Northwestern State will kick off against Eastern Illinois Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in Turpin Stadium

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