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Filed under: Bowl 2012: Northern Illinois Will Play Without 2 Key Defensive Players

If Northern Illinois is going to slow Arkansas State's high-powered offense enough to win the 2012 Bowl, it's going to have to do it without two important members of its defensive line. Defensive end Sean Progar was suspended for the game following a DUI arrest on Dec. 4. Ron Newcomb got hurt in the MAC championship game. Those two combined for 10 of the defense's 25 sacks.

Related: NIU Huskies Almost in Mobile for Bowl

For their part, the guys up front who will play are confident they can make up the difference:

"We've been primed to handle adversity all season," defensive lineman Nabal Jefferson said. "This is just another obstacle. We'll be fine."

"I think," said senior Kyle Jenkins, who will make his first career start, "we can carry the load."

The Bowl is set for Jan. 8 at 8:00 p.m. CT.

For more on Northern Illinois, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago and our Huskies team blog, Red and Black Attack. For more on Mid-American Conference football, visit Hustle Belt.