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Ball State vs. No. 15 Northern Illinois 2013: Battle For the Bronze Stalk

No. 15 Northern Illinois (9-0, 5-0 MAC) puts its 24-game home and 22-game conference winning streak on the line Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 when the Ball State Cardinals (9-1, 6-0 MAC) roll into town. It's the top two teams, and the top two offenses in the MAC duking it out on national TV on a Wednesday night. Oh, and did we forget to mention a badass trophy called the Bronze Stalk is on the line as well? It doesn't get more #MACtion-y than this. In honor of the biggest MAC regular season game in recent history we're pulling out all the stops, bringing you non-stop coverage of the game right here..

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No. 15 NIU Outlasts Ball State, improving to 10-0

The Huskies and Cardinals were locked in a great battle for three quarters, it wasn't until very late that the Huskies were able to pull away and win 48-27.


(#15)NIU Survives Ball State; 48-27

The game was much closer than the score would show.

After the 4th quarter began tied at 27, the Huskies found a way to get to 10-0, winning their 25 straight at home and 23 straight MAC game. The fourth quarter started the exact opposite of MACtion. The teams traded punts on consecutive possessions with the game tied at 27. Then when it looked like the Huskies might break the game open, Ball State forced, and recovered, a fumble on what would have been a 53-yard completion to Da'Ron Brown. NIU was then able to force the Cardinals to punt again.

On their second drive of the fourth quarter, on a third and 11, Lynch somehow managed to avoid two blitzing defenders, spin and deliver a 15-yard strike to Matt Williams to extend their drive. Just a few plays later, Da'Ron Brown, who fumbled in the previous possession after a huge pass, caught a 36-yard touchdown pass that gave the Huskies a 34-27 lead.

Ball State looked to counter on their next drive. They drove to the Huskies 44-yard line, but with less than four minutes to go, and on a 4th and one, the BSU halfback, Jahwan Edwards, was stuffed in the backfield.

From there the Huskies would just try run out the clock on a balanced rushing attack from Lynch and Stingily (with the occasional bubble screen to Tommylee Lewis), but Lynch would not be denied the endzone one more time. He bowled over Ball State's safety on his way to a 16-yard score, pushing the lead to 41-27 with just under a minute to play. But the Huskies weren't done yet. Joe Windsor, a defensive end for the Huskies, picked off a Wenning pass and took it 49-yards for another late NIU touchdown.

Lynch would continue his Heisman-like number with over 450 total yards against the Cardinals and the Huskie defense held Keith Wenning and Ball State to just 3 second half points.


After 3 Quarters, Ball State-27 NIU-27

The #MACtion continues!

Jordan Lynch and the Huskies grabbed a 27-24 lead (their first lead since 3-0) on a fourth down touchdown rush by Cameron Stingily midway through the third period. The score capped a 17-play, 85-yard drive that took more than five and a half minutes. Lynch, on a third and ten, broke a huge tackle in the backfield, and somehow turned a 5-yard loss into a first down run that allowed the drive to continue.

On their next drive the Cardinals countered with a 12 play 80 yard drive of their own. NIU defensive lineman, George Rainey, stuffed a run on third and one at the NIU 2-yard line to force a Ball State field goal - tying the game at 27. Ball State's defense was able to stop NIU on their next drive, forcing a punt with less than two minutes to go.

The Cardinals will start the 4th quarter with a third and four from thier own 49-yard line.


Jordan Lynch Is A Human Top

Jordan Lynch was nearly sacked on a quarterback keeper in the third quarter. Then he did a very Jordan Lynch thing and spun off a tackler, including tossing Jonathan Newsome, a big defensive end.

Lynch has been running over, around and through people all season long, and GIF-erizing people in the process. Add this one to his collection.


via cdn2.mocksession.com

h/t @Bubbaprog


Gingers Love #MACtion Too

I have no words for this.


via cdn3.mocksession.com

h/t @Bubbaprog


Ball State: 24 Northern Illinois 20 at halftime

There's been no shortage of fireworks through the first half in DeKalb.

The first half of the Bronze Stalk game saw 546 yards of total offense, four lead changes, an onside kick, and no shortage of MACtion.  The Cardinals lead the Huskies 24-20 at the half.

Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning completed 20 of 26 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown.  Jahwan Edwards certainly paced the Cardinals offense, carrying the ball 14 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.  Wenning completed passes to 5 different receivers, chiefly tight end Zane Fakes who 4 passes for 66 yards.

Northern Illinois scored with just over a minute remaining in the half on a Jordan Lynch to Da'Ron connection that went for 58 yards to pull within 21-20.  Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch completed 14 of 16 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown.  Lynch also scored a touchdown on the ground, rushing for 42 yards on 10 carries.  Northern Illinois receiver Da'Ron Brown caught 4 balls for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Scott Secor booted a 43 yard field goal 25 seconds remaining in the half to push the Ball State lead to 24-20.


Ball State: 7 Northern Illinois 3 End of First

Ball State and Northern Illinois finished the first quarter with the Cardinals out to a 7-3 lead Wednesday night in DeKalb.

The only touchdown of the first quarter was scored on a Keith Wenning to Willie Snead connection.  The score capped off a 12 play 72 yard drive elapsing 5:04.  For the quarter Wenning completed 9 of 10 passes for 69 yards.  Jahwan Edwards carried the ball 4 times for 13 yards and Snead caught 3 passes for 26 yards.  Wenning completed passes to five different receivers in the first.  Ball State junior cornerback Quintin Cooper was carted off with an apparent ankle injury on NIU's initial drive.

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch completed 9 of 11 passes for 85 yards.  Lynch also carried the ball 4 times for 25 yards.  Da'Ron Brown caught 3 passes for 40 yards.  Mathew Sims booted a 34 yard field goal.


Horactio Banks Has A Torn ACL

When the Ball State Cardinals take on No. 15 Northern Illinois tonight on ESPN2 they'll be without a key member of their dynamic offense. CBS Sports is reporting (and misspelling) that Horactio Banks, the Cardinals No. 2 running back, suffered a torn ACL this week in practice and is done for the season.

Banks, a sophomore, was second on the team in rushing with 595 yards and seven touchdowns on 95 carries. Without Banks BSU will rely more on the No. 1 running back, junior Jahwan Edwards, who currently has 749 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.

The loss of Banks is a huge blow for the Cardinals who will need ever bit of offense it can muster tonight in a game that is likely to come down to the last possession.


The Duel In DeKalb Open Thread: BSU vs. No. 15 NIU

There's a Duel in DeKalb tonight, join us as we take it all in.


Five Things to Know About Keith Wenning, BSU's QB

Hustle Belt continues to get you ready for Wednesday's game of the year with a look at Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning


5 Things to Know About NIU QB Jordan Lynch

The Northern Illinois Huskies have one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the FBS this year, and he's the main reason this team in 9-0 and once again in the BCS discussion.


How To Watch Ball State @ #15 NIU

Wednesday night's showdown will most likely be the game of the year as the two best offenses in the MAC square off in Huskie Stadium.


Look Back At NIU v Ball State 2012: What Defense?

Hustle Belt looks back at the Bronze Stalk Game of 2012


Hoke, Whitlock Take Cardinals Fans To NIU

Brady Hoke and Jason Whitlock ensure there is a Ball State presence for Wednesday's game at Northern Illinois.


Ball State and NIU Battle For the Bronze Stalk

It's all on the line when the Ball State Cardinals and NIU Huskies meet Wednesday night in DeKalb, Ill., for some #MACtion.


What BSU MAC winning streak teaches about NIU game

Ball State enjoys an eleven game winning streak against MAC opponents. Let's take a look at the Cardinals' current MAC successful run against conference opponents.


NIU Is Going Streaking!

NIU is streaking!! Right through the quad and into the record books! Come on, everybody! NIU currently holds three really long streaks, all of which lead the FBS.


Battle for the Bronze Stalk: A Q&A with HuskieWire

We're a day away from game of the year. Hustle Belt caught up with HuskieWire.com's Steve Nitz to get an idea of what to expect from the MAC's leader.


The History Of the Bronze Stalk Trophy

Hustle Belt looks back at the history of the Bronze Stalk Trophy.

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