MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - All-American senior quarterback Jordan Lynch had one of the best games in Kelly/Shorts Stadium history on Saturday afternoon, racking up 471 total yards and four total touchdowns in a 38-17 win for the Northern Illinois Huskies over the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Lynch's 471 total yards set a Kelly/Shorts Stadium record for total yards in a single game, breaking Omar Jacobs' record which was set in 2004. He had 32 carries for 316 rushing yards, which is a new FBS single-game record, and three touchdowns, while completing 20 of his 30 pass attempts for 155 passing yards and one passing touchdown. In the second half alone, Lynch ran the ball 18 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
Redshirt junior tailback Cameron Stingily added 71 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries for NIU. Junior receiver Tommylee Lewis had 82 total yards on 13 total touches.
NIU had 437 rushing yards and 155 passing yards for 592 total yards. Lynch accounted for 79.6 percent of NIU's total offense in the game.
The Chippewas had 346 yards of offense, but only had 97 yards in the second half against a NIU defense that was ranked 108th in the country coming into the game. Redshirt freshman Cooper Rush had 271 passing yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Both Titus Davis and Andrew Flory had good days. Davis had 109 receiving yards and a touchdown on five catches. Flory had five catches for 81 yards and one touchdown.
CMU struggled to get their running game going. An offense that had averaged over 180 rushing yards-per-game in MAC play coming into Saturday could only muster 75 yards on the ground. Redshirt sophomore running back Saylor Lavallii, who was fifth in the MAC in rushing ypg was held to 57 yards on 16 carries. Redshirt freshman Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore had 37 yards on 12 carries.
The Chippewas and Huskies traded touchdowns in the first quarter, but CMU took an early 14-7 lead with two first-quarter touchdowns.
Central Michigan opened the scoring with just over six minutes left in the opening quarter with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Rush to Davis, capping off a 60-yard touchdown drive.
Lynch brought the Huskies right back, tying the game on the next drive, going 75 yards on 11 plays. Lynch hit Lewis on a nine-yard pass for NIU's first score with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
Rush hit Flory on a 36-yard touchdown toss right before the quarter ended to take a seven-point lead.
Lynch capped a 65-yard touchdown drive with a five-yard touchdown run to tie the game, 14-14, at the 8:11 mark of the second quarter.
NIU and CMU each had chances to add scores in the first half, but mistakes in the redzone cost both teams. NIU went for a fourth-and-short, but couldn't convert, and junior linebacker Justin Cherocci intercepted Lynch in the redzone. CMU senior receiver Jerry Harris fumbled in NIU territory after a brutal hit on a fourth down completion.
The Huskies took the lead for good with a 34-yard field goal by Tyler Wedel with 11 minutes left in the third quarter. They added to the lead with a one-run Lynch touchdown run with 3:22 left in the third.
CMU made it a one-possession game with a Ron Coluzzi field goal at the start of the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 24-17.
Following the Coluzzi field goal, the Chippewas got a three-and-out to get the ball back, trailing by seven points. CMU moved the ball from their own 25 out past midfield, but a sack of Rush by Stephen O'Neal on 3rd-and-7 forced the Chippewas to punt.
Lynch ran the ball 40 yards on the first play of the next drive, getting the ball down to the CMU 37-yard line. Five plays later, Lynch ran it into the endzone on a three-yard touchdown carry to put NIU ahead, 31-17.
Stingily sealed the game with a 19-yard touchdown run with one minute, 32 seconds left in the game.
CMU won't play the next two Saturdays. Their next game is at Ball State on Wednesday, November 6. Game time is 8 p.m. and will be a national broadcast on ESPN2.
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