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NIU remains unbeaten with win at Central Michigan

Jordan Lynch  amassed 471 yards of
total  offense, scoring  three rushing  touchdowns and  passing for  one more,
leading  23rd-ranked  Northern  Illinois  to a  38-17  decision  over  Central
Michigan in a MAC clash on Saturday.

Lynch finished with an FBS-record 316 of his program's 437 rushing yards on 32
carries, while completing 20-of-30 passes for 155 yards.

"Every  defense plays us different because of the weapons we have, so defenses
have to make a choice, so every defense plays us a little different," said NIU
head coach Rod Carey. "It takes us a minute to find what the defense is giving
you, and today that was running it."

Former Northern Illinois quarterback Stacey Robinson held the previous mark of
308 yards rushing against Fresno State on Oct. 6, 1990.

Tommylee  Lewis contributed  54 yards and a score on 10 receptions and Cameron
Stingily  added a late rushing TD for NIU (7-0, 3-0 MAC), who remained
unbeaten  in  a season's first  seven games since going  7-0 to begin the 2003
campaign.

Cooper  Rush  finished with  271  yards  passing  and  two touchdowns  on  16-
of-32   efficiency  for  the  Chippewas  (3-5,  2-2),  who  couldn't  maintain
momentum  from  back-to-back conference road wins over Miami-Ohio and Ohio.

Titus  Davis  ended up recording  a game-high 109 yards  and a scoring grab on
five  receptions, while  Andrew Flory  had 81  yards and  a touchdown  on five
catches.

The Huskies sprang to  life in the third quarter, snapping a tie at the break
and  opening  up a 24-14  advantage thanks to a  34-yard field goal from Tyler
Wedel and a 1-yard plunge from Lynch.

Northern  Illinois'  opening score  in the  second half  occurred on its first
possession,  as Lynch was responsible for 53 yards rushing, including the two-
yard gain which preceded the go-ahead field goal.

Its  second series of  the half began at the 15-yard line, with the key play a
40-yard  sprint from Lynch on 3rd-and-1 from his own 39 which gave the Huskies
possession  at the  Chippewas' 21. Five plays later, Lynch plunged in from the
one and it was a 10-point margin for the visitors.

"Lynch  and the blocking,"  said CMU head coach Dan Enos on their foes' key to
winning.  "I'm not taking  anything from Jordan Lynch but you don't just go up
there and rush for 300 yards and nobody blocks."

Ron Coluzzi's 38-yard make pulled the Chippewas within one score on the second
play  of  the fourth quarter, but NIU responded once more, with Lynch
crossing the goal line for the third time to make it 31-17 on a 3-yard scamper
to paydirt with 6:11 to play.

Northern  Illinois' capper  was a  19-yard touchdown  run from  Stingily which
ended an 89-yard, seven-play march.

"You  have to run the ball and stop the run," Carey added. "That's what we had
to have and we did what we wanted to do. I'm so proud of our defense. They got
a couple of key sacks in the second half."

The  hosts hit the scoreboard first, as Rush found Davis in the end zone for a
9-yard score which capped the Chippewas' second series of the contest.

But  the  visitors responded  with their  own 9-yard TD  strike, this one from
Lynch to Lewis to knot the score on the ensuing possession.

Central Michigan led 14-7 after one quarter after Rush hit Flory for a 36-yard
scoring  strike,  yet Northern Illinois responded  early in the second on a 5-
yard run by Lynch and went to halftime knotted at 14-all.

                                   Game Notes

Northern  Illinois racked up 28 first downs and 592 yards of total offense, to
17  first downs and  346 yards for Central Michigan .... NIU have taken
12  of the  last 16 meetings with  the Chippewas since 1998 ... Stingily ended
with  70 yards on 14 carries ... Saylor Lavallii gained 53 yards on 16 carries
for Central Michigan.

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