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NIU rallies past Kansas; Irish roll over Michigan

Illini sizzle, then fizzle in loss

Published: Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 12:22 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 12:23 a.m. CST

Illinois had been waiting almost three weeks for injured quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to play again.

When he took the Memorial Stadium field Saturday and led the Illini to an early 7-0 lead over Louisiana Tech, it looked like the leader of Illinois' attack was back.

But by the end of the first quarter Scheelhaase was back on the bench, the Illini had turned the ball over three times and trailed by a pair of touchdowns on their way to a stunning 52-24 loss to the Bulldogs (3-0). Illinois turned the ball over six times in all and at times appeared powerless to stop Louisiana Tech's quick-strike offense.

Now the Illini (2-2) have a week to figure out who runs the offense and how to shore up the defense before conference play starts next weekend against Penn State.

N. Illinois 30, Kansas 23: Northern Illinois rallied from a 23-13 fourth quarter deficit to defeat Kansas. The Huskies (3-1) victory moved their home field winning streak to 17 games, while the Jayhawks (1-3) lost their 16th straight road contest.

Northern Illinois running back Leighton Settle scored on a 2-yard run with 4:33 left to cap a 53-yard drive and the Huskies 17-point fourth quarter. The short field was set up when Huskies defensive back Joe Windsor sacked Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist.

Notre Dame 13, Michigan 6: Manti Te'o had two interceptions as the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish picked off five Michigan passes and forced a fumble and backup quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Notre Dame offense in a win over the Wolverines in South Bend, Ind.

Denard Robinson, who amassed 948 yards of total offense in victories over the Irish past two years, wasn't as effective this time around as the Irish repeatedly forced him into mistakes. He threw four interceptions in the first half, then lost a fumble at the Notre Dame 8 on the first drive of the second half.

 

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