(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: Northern Illinois 40, Kent State 10
DeKalb, IL (Sports Network) - Chandler Harnish threw for 113 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 65 yards and another score as Northern Illinois thrashed Kent State 40-10 in MAC action at Huskie Stadium.
Akeem Daniels and Jordan Lynch added a combined 104 yards rushing for Northern Illinois (3-3, 1-1 MAC) which rushed 43 times for 209 yards. Martel Moore led all receivers with 35 yards a touchdown, and the defense received a noteworthy performance from Ron Newcomb, who recorded eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss (1.5 sacks), a forced fumble and a blocked field goal attempt.
Kent State (1-5, 0-2) had difficulty producing anything offensively. The Golden Flashes were held to just 70 total offensive yards for the day. Cedric McCloud completed just 6-of-22 passes for 63 yards, and was sacked seven times. Trayion Durham led the team in rushing with 39 yards on 15 attempts.
The Huskies' defense made a statement early, as Nabal Jefferson intercepted a Spencer Keith screen pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to give Northern Illinois a 7-0 advantage four minutes after the opening kickoff.
Kent State scored its only first half points with 2:28 remaining in the first stanza, when Freddy Cortez connected on a 24-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
Kyle Jenkins gave the Huskies great field position when he returned a McCloud fumble 81 yards to the Kent State seven yard line late in the first quarter. Harnish found Martel Moore two plays later for a three-yard touchdown pass to extend the Northern Illinois lead to 14-3 to open the second quarter.
Northern Illinois ballooned its lead in the second quarter when Harnish rushed for a 26 yard touchdown at the 9:55 mark. Kicker Mathew Sims helped build the cushion, first by making a 31-yard field goal with 6:10 remaining in the half and then with 32-yard field goal as the first half expired with Northern Illinois leading 27-3.
Sims was responsible for all Northern Illinois' six points in the third quarter. The sophomore made field goals from 44 and 34 yards out to give the Huskies a 33-3 lead going into the final stanza.
Both squads found the end zone in the fourth quarter. Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch rushed eight yards for a score early in the frame, while Kent State's Luke Wollet returned a fumble 36 yards for a touchdown with under three minutes remaining.
Northern Illinois outgained Kent State 344-to-70, and the Golden Flashes only converted 1-of-15 on third down.
10/08 20:12:24 ET