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A MAC Classic: NIU Tops Kent State In Double Overtime

The Northern Illinois Huskies successfully defended their MAC title despite a furious Kent State fourth-quarter comeback.

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17 Total Updates since November 30, 2012
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With endings like this, who needs the BCS?

The wait was entirely worth it. The first overtime game in MAC Football Championship history showed the country exactly what the conference was about.

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Your 2012 MAC Champs: NIU

Congratulations to the Northern Illinois Huskies on their 2012 football championship. Their second in as many years.

NIU was able to hold Kent State on a fourth and eight (from the eight and a half) to win the game.

What an amazing game to cap off an amazing season.

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Daniels Leads NIU to a Touchdown

Akeem Daniels took the ball at the thirty yard line and got down to the two on the very first play of the second overtime.

Jordan Lynch dived into the end zone on the second play and the pressure is now on Kent State who will have to score the touchdown and kick the extra point.

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Round Two

Both Kickers were just able to slide their kicks into the uprights, but they did.

We will advance to round two in the 2012 Marathon MAC Championship overtime.

P.S.

Kent State did a really nice job not allowing Northern Illinois any success offensively.

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Whoops

Kent State had a second and one on the five yard line. They were stuffed on their first go, and fumbled the football on an attempt to reverse the ball with a flip.

They were able to jump on the football.

What exactly Hazell was thinking there is beyond me. But I also have not turned the Kent State football program into something viable either.

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Overtime

Well they did it.

Kent State came from way behind to tie the game...twice.

It was a stunning third and long touchdown conversion from Kent State that tied the game the second time. With his long, flowing locks, Tim Erjavec caught the touchdown while making two Northern Illinois defenders trip over each other.

May the best team win.

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HUSKIES BACK ON TOP

That was really, really quick.

The Huskies used four plays to advance 75 yards. Lynch trotted into the end zone to give his team the lead back.

The biggest play of the drive was his pass to Akeem Daniels for 43 yards. It was just a check down that ended up being a huge play. Daniels gathered 66 yards overall on the drive (two carries and one catch)

Kent State will get the ball with 3:12 to go.

34-27 NIU

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Kent State Ties It!

It took a little longer than thought, but this is why America loves #MACtion (no copyright infringement intended).

Kent State has tied the game at 27 with five minutes to play.

It started with a Dri Archer 60 yard bomb from Spencer Keith. Keith finished the drive by just breaking the plain to get the game within a touchdown.

Then, out of no where, the Northern Illinois Huskies screwed up a hand off and Kent State's Zack Hitchens scooped and scored.

NIU has the ball with just over four minutes to play, but Kent State is 100% in it.

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One Final Quarter, Kent State Still Breathing

Kent State has been thoroughly outplayed tonight, but as they set up inside the NIU 20 to start the fourth quarter they are still totally in this football game.

Being down 27-13 is a tough spot to be in, but as we have seen in many MAC Championship games there is always a chance. Kent State has that chance in the fourth quarter.

To recap the third quarter: Jordan Lynch.

Update: Throwing short and being pushed out of bounds three yards short of a first down was not what I had in mind.

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Jordan Lynch sets QB rushing record

Move over, Denard Robinson.

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Dri Archer trucks a kindly old man

Dri-archer-abuses-the-elderly_medium

What else is there to say? He can turn the corner, and almost ran around the defender, but there's that old man, right in position, preventing him from getting ... further out of bounds.

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Northern Illinois has roared back

Remember all the things I mentioned that were left on the field in the first quarter?

The Huskies picked it all up and did not let Kent State have any.

The second quarter was all NIU, as the team from the west outscored their opponent 14-0 and took a seven point lead into halftime. Jordan Lynch, despite throwing an interception with five minutes to play in the half, was marvelous. He threw for a touchdown and has 58 rushing yards so far tonight.

Kent State offense has been non-existent. They only have 50 yards so far all together. And it appears likely that they will have to rely on the big play to score points.

Northern Illinois has not had to respect Kent's passing attack so far. Dechane Durante came up with the first interception of the game with a tremendous play where he jumped over two players and was able to get three feet in-bounds near the sideline.

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Halftime thoughts from Ford Field

Remember that great start by the Flashes? About 30 minutes ago? Yeah, those feelings are gone. Northern Illinois has controlled the last 20 minutes of the game, mostly with Jordan Lynch making plays on third and fourth down. After they iced their own field goal attempt, KSU has been bowled over so far.

As for the crowd, I wouldn't be surprised if they announced an attendance well north of 20,000. The NIU fans have been louder than anticipated on big plays. I can't see Kent State's crowd but their presence has been felt and as I walked to the stadium I saw nothing but gold shirts entering the place.

Halftime couldn't have arrived at a better time for the Golden Flashes. They're only down seven points. They're fully capable of adjusting and get back in the game. But first it might be useful to catch their breath, and get some darn blocking.

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Kent State leads after the first quarter

The Kent State Golden Flashes have not played in a MAC Championship game in a very long time, but they have the lead after after the first quarter.

Northern Illinois started this Marathon game much like they did the last one...Sloppy, slow and down by ten points. However a drive at the end of the quarter, including a Jordan Lynch scramble that converted a fourth and medium from Kent's 35, allowed them to bring the game back to one possession.

Kent State has honestly not put together a drive of their own. Good field position and big plays (yes, by Dri Archer) has the Golden Flashes in front.

On the second position of the game for Kent, Archer ran the ball fifteen yards on an end-around for the first score of the game. It came after a NIU muffed punt return.

So far this game has left much on the field, but has been intriguing to watch indeed.

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Open thread (chat amongst yourselves)

You guys want a gamethread? Here's a gamethread. THREAD AWAY.

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MAC Championship Game picks

The popular pick remains Northern Illinois over Kent State. But with the Huskies favored by a touchdown in Detroit, how many experts are taking the Golden Flashes? And who do I have winning? You're wondering what I'm thinking, most likely.

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Guess the MAC Championship Game attendance

Bowls of oranges and sugar are permeating the dreams of Kent State and Northern Illinois. Awaiting them is a football game played in Detroit, quite a drive from their comfortable dwellings. How much will the 65,000-capacity Ford Field be filled?

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