AKRON, Ohio – On a night with 845 yards of offense between Northern Illinois and Akron, the difference in Thursday’s Mid-American Conference thriller came down to the instincts of linebacker Jalen McKie to make three monumental defensive plays.
McKie intercepted an Alex Ramart pass along the Zips’ sideline, speeding his way to a 23-yard interception return for a score and a 36-26 NIU lead with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter that would hold. He also had a pick late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“My anticipation was to either keep them in bounds or pick the ball off,” McKie said about the first interception. “I just baited the quarterback, and he threw the ball to the sidelines, and I broke on it and made a play.”