Sunday, November 10, 2002

Huskies stun BGSU, take first in division

The Associated Press

DEKALB, Ill. - Michael Turner helped Northern Illinois defeat one of the last unbeaten teams in Division I.

Turner rushed for 192 yards on 40 carries to give the Huskies a 26-17 victory over No. 20 Bowling Green.

It is the Huskies' second win in 22 tries against a team ranked in the Top 25. Turner also rallied the Huskies (7-3, 6-0 Mid-American Conference) earlier in the season from a 20-point deficit against Miami and rushed for 222 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-41 win. Having a lead throughout was something new for Turner.

"We wanted to keep them down as much as possible," Turner said.

"It was just a different game, being on top and trying to stay on top instead of coming from behind and getting desperate."

Instead it was Bowling Green (8-1, 5-1) that looked desperate. The Falcons entered the game with the nation's second-highest scoring offense at 47 points a game but were forced to throw play after play after falling behind 20-3.

The Falcons, averaging 230 yards rushing a game, finished with 86 yards on 30 carries, and running back Joe Alls had 31 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Receiver Robert Redd said the Falcons might have let their ranking, the first for the school since 1985, go to their heads. Bowling Green entered the game as one of four teams in Division I-A without a loss and had its 11-game winning streak snapped.

"We came into the game and so much stuff was going on and we weren't focused," he said. "There was so much hype for this game."

Quarterback Josh Harris and the Bowling Green offense struggled early running the ball and had just as much trouble throwing it. Harris was 4-of-15 at one point in the first half, overthrowing receivers and frequently passing on the run under a heavy pass rush.

"Our team was not ready to play in the beginning," Bowling Green coach Urban Meyer said.

"We can't do that against a good team, and (Northern Illinois) is a good team."

The Falcons cut the lead to 23-17 with 7:12 to go when Harris threw a TD pass to Redd on fourth-and-7. Harris was 7-of-10 for 64 yards on the 14-play drive that covered 80 yards.

Bowling Green got the ball right back when Huskies quarterback Josh Haldi was hit as he released a throw and was intercepted.

However, the Falcons failed to move the ball past midfield and Northern Illinois took over on downs when Harris' run fell short on fourth-and-2. Harris was 27-of-52 for 271 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries.

The low score was a surprise, even to Huskies coach Joe Novak.

"I didn't think we'd hold them to 17," he said. "That offense is hard to stop, especially when they've got a quarterback like that."

Northern Illinois' first touchdown came when Harris' pass to D'Monn Baker was deflected by the tight end and intercepted by safety Justin Dole. The Huskies scored three plays later on Haldi's 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Dan Sheldon.

Sheldon, who has two punt returns for touchdowns this season, ran back a punt 80 yards to the Bowling Green 11-yard line on the Huskies' next possession. Facing third-and-18, Haldi found receiver Shatone Powers wide open in the corner of the end zone to give Northern Illinois a 17-3 halftime lead.

MAC race




N. Illinois6-07-3
B. Green5-18-1

Saturday's games

Connecticut 63, Kent St. 21

UCF 45, Buffalo 21

W. Michigan 33, E. Mich. 31

Ohio 27, Akron 10

N. Illinois 26, B. Green 17

Toledo 44, C. Michigan 17

Ravens 38, Bengals 27
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Colerain 28, Lebanon 7
Ohio scores | Ohio pairings
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Kings 36, Edgewood 19
Reading 41, Coldwater 38

Kentucky scores | Kentucky pairings
CovCath 54, Harrison Co. 6
Beechwood 55, Fairview 7
Boone Co. 34, Oldham Co. 28
Dixie Heights 43, Lou. Ballard 41
Eastern 22, Conner 7
Highlands 56, Anderson Co. 0
Holy Cross 35, Nicholas Co. 14
Lex. Catholic 52, Holmes 20
Lloyd 51, East Carter 20
Louisville Trinity 48, Ryle 9
NewCath 57, Paris 14
Russell 31, Newport 14
Scott 53, Bourbon Co. 22

East Central 38, Whiteland 30

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Highlands girls run to state title

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Bowen corners market at Miami
Huskies stun BGSU, take first in division
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