Detroit, MI – This time, Northern Illinois delivered the crushing blow instead of taking it.
Mathew Sims kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired Friday night, capping a stunning second half comeback and lifting Northern Illinois to a 23-20 win over Ohio for the Mid-American Conference Championship.
The Huskies (10-3) won the MAC title game for the first time despite trailing 20-0 at halftime.
Sims' kick, which followed two Ohio timeouts and came minutes after he missed an extra point, sailed just inside the left upright. The field goal was set up by four plays that gained 48 yards, including Perez Ashford's leaping 27-yard catch at the left sideline with a defender all over him.
Northern Illinois lost last year's MAC title game in a heartbreaker after Miami-Ohio converted a 4th-and-20 on a deflected pass and scored a touchdown with 33 seconds left for the win.
Ohio (9-4) appeared in its third conference championship game in the last six years, but has yet to win.