Recap: Northern Ill vs. Bowling Green
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Bowling Green ended over 20 years of conference championship frustration and delivered a knockout blow to the BCS aspirations of Northern Illinois.
Matt Johnson threw for 393 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, as the Falcons dominated the 16th-ranked and previously unbeaten Huskies, 47-27, in the Mid-American Conference Championship game at Ford Field.
Travis Greene rushed 26 times for 133 yards and a touchdown, and the Falcons rolled up huge offensive numbers to snap the Huskies' 25-game conference winning streak. Ronnie Moore caught four passes for 145 yards and a score, and Alex Bayer had seven receptions for 124 yards and a TD.
It's been a remarkable turnaround for Bowling Green (10-3), which went from a 2-win team in 2010 to a double-digit winner for the first time since 2003. This is their first Mid-American Conference Championship since 1992.
Jordan Lynch connected on 21-of-40 passes for 219 yards with a score and two interceptions for the Huskies (12-1), who were aiming for their third straight MAC title. Lynch also had 26 rushes for 126 yards and a pair of TDs.
Florida State and Ohio State are the lone remaining unbeaten FBS teams.
Johnson, who connected on 21-of-27 throws, was especially effective in a big first half for the Falcons, who took advantage of gaping holes in the Huskies' defense. He was 16-of-19 for 294 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
Tyler Beck had a 28-yard TD catch to cap the Falcons' opening possession, but Lynch hit Juwa Brescacin for a 14-yard score to counter.
Tyler Tate kicked a 26-yard field goal later in the quarter, and following a Northern Illinois punt, Johnson connected with a wide open Moore for 36 yards as he got behind the defense for a 17-7 cushion.
Fields goals of 51 and 45 yards from Matthews Sims brought the Huskies within 17-13. Northern Illinois was then successful on an onsides kickoff, but two penalties nullified the play.
"I thought we responded in the second half, but it was too big of a hole," Huskies coach Rod Carey said.
Bowling Green expanded the lead to 24-13 on Johnson's 22-yard TD toss to Heath Jackson.
Sims missed a 58-yard field goal try later in the second, and after Lynch was picked off by Ted Ouellet, the Falcons expanded the margin just before halftime. Bayer caught a 12-yard TD toss from Johnson with 13 seconds left.
Lynch scored on an 8-yard run for the lone TD in the third quarter.
Tate drilled a 52-yard field goal early in the fourth and the Falcons made it a rout with two more TDs. Lynch was picked off by Aaron Foster, which led to Johnson's 6-yard TD strike to Greene. The blocked extra point try brought the score to 40-20.
Lynch failed on a 4th down pass, and the Falcons moved the lead to 47-20 on Greene's 16-yard TD run on a 4th-and-13 play with 2:44 remaining.
Lynch then scored a 2-yard run with 14 seconds left.Game Notes
Lynch has 1,881 rushing yards on 274 carries on the season, breaking his own
NCAA record of 1,815 yards set last season ... Greene became the single
season rushing leader for Bowling Green. His total stands at 1,575 yards on
the season surpassing Fred Durig's mark of 1,444 yards set in 1951.