Quick Hits: No. 19 Northern Illinois 44 No. 18 Kent State 37 2OT
Northern Illinois survives a late Kent State surge and two overtimes to win its second consecutive MAC title.
|Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois had just enough to beat Kent State. (US Presswire)|
NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON: MACtion lived up to the moniker on Friday night in Detroit, as the MAC Championship Game needed two overtimes to decide the winner. In the end it was Northern Illinois winning its second straight MAC title.
Though it probably shouldn't have been that close. Northern Illinois had a 14-point lead with 5 minutes left before Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith scored a 5-yard touchdown to make it a one score game. That 96-yard scoring drive covered more ground than the Kent State offense had the entire night.
Then, 15 seconds later, Jordan Lynch's attempted hand-off to Akeem Daniels was fumbled and Kent State's Zack Hitchens scooped it up and took it 22 yards to the house. Suddenly the game was tied 27-27, but this being the MAC, there was still scoring to be done.
Northern Illinois would respond with a 4-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to retake the lead, but Kent State would respond with another touchdown drive of its own.
The game would then go to overtime, with both teams exchanging field goals in the first session. The second session would see Northern Illinois Jordan Lynch score his third rushing touchdown of the night. Kent State would then face a fourth and eight from the 9-yard line, but Spencer Keith's pass would be intercepted by Demetrius Stone in the end zone, ending the game.
WHY NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON: While it disappeared for a while in the fourth quarter, Northern Illinois won this game with its defense. Kent State could do absolutely nothing on offense for most of the night. The Golden Flashes didn't even surpass the 100-yard mark in total offense until that 96-yard scoring drive cut Northern's lead to 27-20 with five minutes to play.
Kent State's biggest playmaker on offense, Dri Archer, finished the night with 96 total yards and a touchdown. However, 75 of those yards came on two plays. Meaning Archer had only 21 yards in his other 15 touches.
Meanwhile Jordan Lynch would have another outstanding night for the Northern Illinois offense, finishing with 372 yards of total offense -- Kent State had 260 as a team -- and 4 touchdowns.
WHEN NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON: When Spencer Keith's pass was picked off in the end zone to end the second overtime.
WHAT NORTHERN ILLINOIS WON: It's second straight MAC title and possibly a BCS bowl berth if the right dominoes fall into place to allow the Huskies to sneak into the top 16 of the BCS rankings.
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