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2017 Week 8 Recap: NIU Huskies at Bowling Green Falcons

Huskies roll past BGSU 48-17

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies (5-2, 3-0) got off to a fast start today against the Bowling Green Falcons (1-7, 1-3) and never looked back.

NIU, even without starting halfback Jordan Huff, was able to drive down the field on their first possession in just eight plays, capped off with a 30-yard touchdown run by Tommy Mister.

After a couple of punts and a BGSU turnover on downs, the Huskies got the ball at their 30 yard line and wasted no time scoring again - this time Marcus Childers found Shane Wimann for an 8-yard touchdown on a delayed wheel route.

Bowling Green was able to find an offensive rhythm on their next possession and did something few teams have done, drove down on the NIU defense in under three minutes. Their nine play drive was completed when James Morgan found Quintin Morris in the end zone for an 11-yard TD score.

Morgan would then throw interceptions on the next two Falcon drives, the second of which set up another NIU score when Childers found Spencer Tears for a 15-yard touchdown that bumped the lead to 21-7.

Bowling Green Head Coach Mike Jinks decided that was enough from Morgan and put in freshman Grant Loy for the remainder of the game.

After Loy couldn’t move the ball on his first drive, the BG punter, Joseph Davidson, hit a booming kick that pinned NIU inside their own 5-yard line. But, after just a few plays, Childers found Chad Beebe, who made a spectacular adjustment midair to haul in a pass and break a tackle all at once. Beebe then scampered 73 yards for a touchdown.

On the next play, Loy would be intercepted after Sutton Smith tipped a pass that led to a Mycial Allen interception. The Huskies would drive down and kick a field goal, extending the lead to 31-7 as time expired in the first half (yes, Christian Hagan actually made it!).

In the first half alone, NIU had managed to rack up 373 yards of offense while BGSU gained just 194 yards but had three huge turnovers.

The second half was more of the same as the Huskies forced fumbles on the next two Bowling Green possessions. After the offense was stopped on the first turnover, Sutton Smith decided to take things into his own hands, basically stealing the ball from halfback Andrew Clair and returning it 16 yards for an NIU touchdown.

Both teams would trade field goals in the third quarter making it a 41-10 heading into the final 15 minutes of play.

NIU was content to just waste as much clock as possible but Bowling Green was not done. The Falcons put together a 10-play, 67-yard drive that ate up around five minutes before Loy was able to sneak his way into the end zone from 2-yards out.

The Huskies just kept pounding the ball on the ground, chewing up clock and yards, and, after more than four minutes of holding the ball, Jauan Wesley ran it in from 9-yards out on a jet sweep with just 50 seconds remaining, cementing the 48-17 win.

Bowling Green finished the game with 367 yards (175 passing and 192 rushing). Morgan, before his exit, was 7/12 passing for 71 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. Loy finished the day 6/11 for 104 yards with an interception. And shockingly, the Falcons O-line has done something no one else has this season...they didn’t allow Sutton Smith to get a sack (but they did give up three sacks on the entire day).

The 192 yards rushing was the most this Huskie defense has allowed all season. Freshman Andrew Clair provided most of the yards on the ground, carrying the ball 15 times for 108 yards.

For NIU, Childers was 21/33 for 239 with three TDs. Chad Beebe was huge for the Huskies today...his six grabs netted 124 yards including that long TD in the second quarter.

The run game really got going as eight players had a carry and five of them had at least 30 yards. Tommy Mister ran it well, 17 carries for 115 yards and a TD. Childers added 73 from the QB position and newby Dwayne Milton had 61 yards on six rushes.

If the Huskies keep this offensive rhythm...the MAC West could be in for a long season when they take on NIU.

Sutton Smith caused a lot of chaos and pressure in the backfield today but his stat sheet doesn’t completely reflect that. He finished with just four tackles, one TFL, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Next week Bowling Green is on a bye but they will next face Kent State on Halloween, Tuesday, October 31st.

The Huskies are going to be on short rest as they play just five days from now, taking on Eastern Michigan this Thursday, October 26th at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CST).