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Huskies’ BCS game chances survive

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch runs the ball in the second quarter against 
Ball State on Wednesday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch runs the ball in the second quarter against Ball State on Wednesday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Talk of Northern Illinois going to another Bowl Championship Series game will survive for at least one more week.

So will the chances of a third straight Mid-American Conference championship. The Huskies’ MAC West title hopes continued with Wednesday’s impressive 48-27 win over Ball State at Huskie Stadium. No. 15 NIU (10-0, 6-0 MAC West) will clinch the West Division with a win on Wednesday at Toledo.

The victory is NIU’s 25th consecutive at Huskie Stadium, and it’s the Huskies’ 23rd in a row in MAC play.

Both Ball State (9-2, 6-1) quarterback Keith Wenning and NIU’s Jordan Lynch shined on ESPN2 in the national spotlight. Wenning went 35 for 49 for 324 yards and a touchdown pass. Lynch was 26 of 32 for 325 yards and two touchdown passes, and ran for 123 yards and two scores.

“I said the same thing about [former NIU QB Chandler Harnish] a couple years ago...I’m looking forward to [Lynch] getting his degree and moving on,” Ball State coach Pete Lembo said.

Da’Ron Brown’s 36-yard touchdown catch from Jordan Lynch with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter was the game-winning score. Brown’s touchdown reception came just a few minutes after after he committed the first turnover of the game, fumbling the ball at the Ball State 10-yard line after another long catch from Lynch, costing the Huskies a shot at another scoring opportunity.

One of the plays of the game came in the third quarter, with the Huskies facing a third-and-10 at their own 28-yard line. Lynch looked to be wrapped up by the Cardinals defense, but bounced off a few tacklers and ran for a first down.

NIU would go on to convert two fourth downs on the drive – the second being a Cameron Stingily 1-yard touchdown run to put NIU up 27-24. The 85-yard drive featured 17 plays.

Ball State would tie the game, 27-27, on a Scott Secor 19-yard field goal.

NIU closed out the scoring with Brown’s catch, a 16-yard run by Jordan Lynch, and a 49-yard interception return by Joe Windsor. Overall, the Huskies outscored Ball State, 28-3, after halftime.

The game featured a lot more offense than defense, but NIU’s defensive unit came up with a huge play when it was needed.

Late in the fourth quarter, with Ball State facing a 4th and 1 from the NIU 44-yard line, Cardinals tailback Jahwan Edwards, who the Huskies had a tough time bringing down all night, was stuffed by Joe Windsor for a loss of one yard.

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