#16 NIU Huskies (11-0)- 35
Toledo Rockets (7-4)- 17
Line: NIU -2.0
No. 16 Northern Illinois Huskies stays perfect as they defeated the Toledo Rockets on the road 35-17 to clinch the MAC West division and keep their BCS hopes alive.
The defining moment for the Huskies came when they were backed up against the end zone on third down, quarterback Jordan Lynch dropped back, waited for an opening and scrambled for a first down that ignited a 99-yard drive, clinching a victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Huskies (11-0, 7-0) extended their 24-game conference winning streak and also secured a fourth straight trip to the Mid-American Conference title game.
With the Huskies #16 ranking, they remain eligible for their second straight Bowl Championship Series appearance after playing in the Orange Bowl last season with only No. 15 Fresno State (also undefeated) standing in their way.
On the 99-yard drive, Lynch says, “That’s a momentum killer. It’s a real dagger to the defense.”
Jordan Lynch finished with 363 total yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for 62 yards on seven carries on the 99-yard march.
Toledo (7-4, 5-2 MAC) did a great job in the first half shutting down the NIU offense and taking a 10-7 halftime lead into the locker room.
But there was no panic for the Huskies who outscored the Rockets 28-7 in the second half to keep their perfect season in tact.
NIU coach Rod Carey said all he had to do was to remind his team to finish their drives.
“That calmed the guys down,” Carey said.
Carey had complete faith in Jordan Lynch getting it done it second half.
“He’s pretty decisive,” Carey said. “When he’s running and making plays, that’s just him.”
Lynch rushed for 161 yards on 28 attempts and it was his 31-yard touchdown run from up the middle on a fake handoff that put the Huskies up for good 21-17.
‘He’s always poised,” said NIU receiver Juwan Brescacin, who had eight catches for 121 yards. “That’s why we’re as good as we are.”
That they are… but is it enough to surpass the Fresno State Bulldogs for a automatic BCS bowl bid?
NIU was without their two leading receivers due to injuries on Wednesday night, Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown.
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter