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Lynch leads NIU past CMU in second half

Head coach Dan Enos is just fine with never having to face Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch again.

Who can blame him after the senior rushed for 316 yards – a FBS record for a quarterback – and also passed for 155 yards to lead his team to a 38-17 win on Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium?

“Jordan Lynch is outstanding,” Enos said. “But the offensive line and tight ends did a good job.”

Northern Illinois’ lead widened, as the holes for Lynch to run through did the same.

The Huskies took the lead for the first time in the game at the start of the third quarter with a field goal, making it 17-14. Then Lynch, who had 232 rushing yards in the second half, contributed to a drive that extended their lead to 10 with a 40 yard carry and a one yard run into the end zone with 3:22 left in the third quarter.

He was not done, as he ran another 40 yards on the first play of NIU’s drive in the middle of the fourth quarter and then he followed his blockers to score a three yard touchdown to extend the lead to 31-17.

“He’s a tough guy. He’s a competitor,” said senior safety Avery Cunningham. “He has a certain drive to him, so that’s going to help him out.”

CMU, looking to tie the game prior to that drive, moved to midfield, but redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Rush was sacked for a loss of nine on third and seven.

Rush completed 16 of 32 passes for 271 yards. He had his best quarter in the first with two touchdown passes and eight completions out of 11 throws for 146 yards.

“They played a lot more cover two and were really trying to force us to run the football because we had gotten some big plays in the pass game,” Enos said. “And we weren’t getting any explosive runs.”

Only against Michigan, did the running game do worse than it did against the Huskies, tallying 75 yards with sophomore Saylor Lavallii leading the running backs with 58 yards.

In the first quarter, the CMU defense looked like it was going to keep Lynch somewhat under wraps. Anybody would be happy to see him punt as he did in NIU’s first drive.

The Huskies scored its second touchdown to tie it at 14 by the middle of the second quarter after Rush put the defense in a bad spot, throwing a pick to give them the ball at CMU’s 26 yard line.

Senior receiver Jerry Harris was responsible for a fumble after catching a pass that would have been enough to convert a fourth and four in NIU territory when the score was tied at 14 in the second.

“Against good teams, you can’t have missed opportunities and we missed one right there with that,” Enos said. “Great throw and he caught it. You’ve got to give their safety credit. He made a great hit.”

Contact Jeff Papworth: Follow him on Twitter @JeffPapworth.


  1. The Chips held their own in this game. The first half was awesome, but I don’t understand why they tried to run the ball so much in the second half when they had a great passing attack in the first. Also, I did not understand why they punted on 4th down with 6 minutes to go in the 4th, they kind of just through the game away there. Why not take another shot and give yourself of chance? Rush looked pretty good and this could be a great team next year.

  2. Another lay down second half Enos debacle. Most yards ever by an FBS quarterback. Something to be proud about. You saw it coming shortly into the second half. Usually, one watches the train wreck but I shut it down knowing what was to come. 18000 stated attendance. Sweet!

    • You are right. Dan Enos trademark at CMU is getting blown out the second half. Good coaches make adjustments during halftime and throughout the game. I expect to see a mid major get blown out in the second half by a Big Ten or ACC school, which has a deeper roster, but not against a MAC school or UNLV. Here are halftime scores, which turned into blowouts this season:

      UNLV: 21-7
      Toledo: 14-21
      No. IL: 14-14

      Even though they won the Ohio game, the Chips were outscored in the second half.

  3. Did it bother anyone else that with 1:25 left in the game all Enos did was sit on the ball. Two runs up the middle and then stand around and let the clock run out. No fight left in this coach at the end.

  4. jeff topolewski says:

    common heeke, enos is quitting on the players, enough is enough, CMU football deserves better then this, the players deserve better, pull the plug and lets move on!

  5. Time to pull the rug out from under Heeke and Enos. Let the new AD select the new football coach.

  6. if students cared they should march on heeke’s office, organize some sit ins at his office, let the voices be known

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