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NIU nearly joins 700 club in comeback win

Northwestern can’t finish major upset; Huskers hold Illinois in check

Cameron Stingily ran for a career-high 266 yards and two scores as Northern Illinois remained undefeated with a 38-24 win over Kent State on Saturday in Kent, Ohio.

Northern Illinois (5-0, 1-0 Mid-American) trailed 24-21 in the third quarter, but scored 17 unanswered points, beginning with a 22-yard touchdown run by James Spencer midway through the quarter.

Spencer then scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Lynch on the Huskies’ following possession. Lynch threw for 244 yards and ran for 106 more.

NIU finished with 698 yards of total offense, 454 yards rushing.

Kent State (2-4, 1-2) took the lead early in the third with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Colin Reardon to Tyshon Goode, but failed to score after that.

Big Ten

No. 4 Ohio State 40, No. 16 Northwestern 30: Northwestern could not secure its first win over a top-5 team since 1959.

The Buckeyes (6-0) rallied from two second-half deficits at a packed Ryan Field, extending their winning streak to 18 games, the nation’s longest.

With Northwestern (5-1, 0-1) trailing 34-30 and needing about 2 feet for a first down, Kain Colter went under center. He fumbled the snap, but then grabbed it and appeared to surge forward, but the ball was spotted about a foot short.

To make matters worse, Northwestern used a timeout to challenge the spot – a timeout they could have used after stopping Braxton Miller on third down.

Instead, the Wildcats got the ball back with just 21 seconds to play. Needing 84 yards for a game-winning touchdown, Northwestern went backward.

Nebraska 39, Illinois 19: Ameer Abdullah ran for a career-high 225 yards and two touchdowns, and Nebraska’s maligned defense was much improved in Lincoln, Neb.

Tommy Armstrong, starting his second straight game in place of injured quarterback Taylor Martinez, led the Cornhuskers (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) to touchdowns on his first three series, and was 8-for-13 for 135 yards.

Just as big as Armstrong’s performance was that of Nebraska’s defense, which had been one of the nation’s worst through four games.

Illinois (3-2, 0-1), which came in averaging 40 points a game, didn’t score its first touchdown until the middle of the third quarter. Twice when the Illini looked as if they would make a game of it, the Huskers made big stops.

Josh Ferguson led the Illini with 114 rushing yards on 19 carries, and 82 yards on eight catches.

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