Lynch leads Northern Illinois past Eastern Michigan

DeKalb, IL ( - Jordan Lynch did it all Saturday, throwing four touchdowns, rushing for a score and catching another to lead 23rd-ranked Northern Illinois past Eastern Michigan, 59-20, at Huskie Stadium.

Lynch completed 16-of-20 passes for 223 yards and also rushed for 99 yards on 18 carries.

Tommylee Lewis finished with 188 total yards and also threw a touchdown pass to Lynch and Da'Ron Brown added a pair of touchdown receptions for the Huskies (8-0, 4-0 MAC), who are off to their first 8-0 start since 1965.

"We challenged ourselves for 60 minutes," Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey said. "I was really happy with the 60 minutes of football that we played today."

Juwan Brescacin, Ricky Connors and Joel Bouagnon each finished with a touchdown catch in the victory.

Tyreese Russell caught four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown and Ryan Brumfield added 13 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles (1-7, 0-4), losers in seven straight.

Brogan Roback started at quarterback for EMU, completing just 7-of-17 passes for 109 yards. Tyler Benz replaced Roback in the second half and went 6-for-15 for 64 yards and a score.

Eastern Michigan came out flat and with plenty of reason. The team attended the wake of teammate Demarious Reed Friday before traveling to Northern Illinois. The junior wide receiver was found shot to death October 18th in what has been ruled a homicide.

Northern Illinois found the end zone on its first drive as Lynch connected with Brown for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

After forcing an EMU punt, the Huskies needed just three plays to find the end zone as Lynch connected with Bouagnon for a 10-yard TD. Following yet another stop, Lynch and the Huskies made it 21-0 with a 30-yard touchdown run, Lynch's eighth rushing score of the season.

Eastern Michigan finally got on the board on their third drive with Dylan Mudler's 25-yard field goal.

The Huskies got creative with their next score as Lewis tossed a 17-yard touchdown to Lynch just three minutes into the second frame.

Later in the second, Lynch delivered a 16-yard strike to Brescacin for a 35-3 edge.

Matthew Sims added a 28-yard field goal at the end of the half to put NIU up 38-3 entering the break.

"I thought they did a good job of starting off quick," Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English said of the Huskies. "They ran some formations they had not shown. I thought that that unnerved our guys a little bit."

EMU cashed in on their opening drive of the second half on Mulder's 28-yard field goal, but the Huskies answered less than two minutes later as Lynch hit Brown with a 28-yard touchdown passes.

Benz's 9-yard touchdown pass to Russell pulled the Eagles within 32 points, but a pair of NIU TDs sealed the win.

Matt McIntosh, Lynch's backup, found Matt Williams for a 36-yard touchdown strike. Third-string QB Drew Hare got in on the act early in the fourth quarter with an 11-yard touchdown passes to Ricky Connors for a 59-13 edge.

Ryan Brumfield's 5-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes left accounted for the final difference.

Game Notes

Northern Illinois has won 24 consecutive games ... Javonti Greene carried the ball 17 times for 66 yards and Bronson Hill had 10 carries for 65 yards for Eastern Michigan.