As debuts go, redshirt freshman Chandler Harnish was pretty impressive last week passing for 326 yards under tough conditions at the noisy Metrodome in Minneapolis in a close loss to a Big Ten opponent.
The kid, who got the nod over senior Dan Nicholson, was very poised and appears to have a bright future.
That said, don't write off Nicholson just yet. He's probably still not 100 percent as he continues his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, but he may need to be an on-field contributor before the season is completed.
Before we get caught up too much in the euphoria of Harnish's debut, let's not forget the first time Nicholson saw significant playing time at Northern. Back in 2005, when he was a redshirt freshman, Nicholson saw mop-up duty early in the year in blowouts over Tennessee Tech (42-3) and Kent State (34-3).
In the ninth game of the season at Central Michigan, he was thrown into the fire early on after starter Phil Horvath was injured and saw his first significant playing time with a game on the line. How did he respond? By completing 19 of 27 passes for 320 yards and two TDs in a 31-28 win.
The following week he passed for 176 yards and two scores to lead the Huskies to their only win over Toledo (35-17) in the Joe Novak era. He was also at the helm when the Huskies beat Western Michigan 42-7 to earn a berth in the MAC title game, which they lost on a last-second score to Akron, 31-30.
It's too early and it would be unwise to give him afterthought status just yet.