An up-and-down second quarter saw high points for both teams, but ended just as the first quarter did: with Northern Illinois ahead by 10 points.
The Huskies began the quarter on the Bowling Green 45-yard line after forcing a turnover on downs, but they were once again unable to find the end zone. Wide Receiver Da'Ron Brown appeared to have a touchdown catch, but BG safety Nick Johnson jarred the ball loose to force a fourth down. Christian Hagan hit his second field goal of the game, this time from 32 yards, to move NIU's lead to 13-0 11:10 before halftime.
Bowling Green finally answered, and it did not take the Falcons long to do so. After starting on their own 25, the Falcons offense drove to the NIU 42 yard-line. From there, Gehrig Dieter made an adjustment on an underthrown deep Knapke pass, shedding his tackler and going the distance for six. With that, Bowling Green trailed only 13-7 despite a 2-0 disadvantage in the turnover battle to that point.
After the next three possessions ended in punts, the Falcons took over on their own 12 with 2:37 left in the half to take a lead, but they went 3-and-out to give NIU another chance to extend the lead.
The Huskies started on their own 32 with 1:31 to play and quickly made their way into Bowling Green territory with a series of short sideline throws and handoffs to Akeem Daniels. That culminated in a 3rd-and-goal from the 5, which Drew Hare turned into six points with a toss across his body to tight end Luke Eakes in the end zone. Hagan converted the point after to give Northern Illinois a 20-7 lead with 25 seconds left.
A short squibb quick offered the Falcons hope of a Hail Mary attempt or long field goal attempt with a drive beginning on their own 42. A few completed sideline passes from Knapke gave Tyler Tate a 46-yard field goal attempt at the buzzer, which he drilled to make it a 20-10 Northern Illinois lead at the break.
Knapke has 133 passing yards and a score, while Hare is just behind him with 127 yards and a touchdown. No rusher had more than Travis Greene's 39 yards at the half.
Northern Illinois will receive the second half kickoff.