DE KALB, Ill. (AP) Jordan Lynch threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns Wednesday night and Northern Illinois defeated Toledo 31-24 to claim a spot in the Mid-American Conference championship game.
Lynch also ran for 162 yards for the Huskies (10-1, 7-0), who extended the longest home winning streak in Division I to 21 games. The defending MAC champions won their 10th straight game and wrapped up the West Division title to advance to the conference championship Nov. 30 in Detroit.
Toledo (8-3, 5-2) led 14-7 at halftime, but 18 seconds into the third quarter Lynch hooked up with Martel Moore for a 74-yard touchdown pass, their second scoring connection of the game. NIU went ahead 21-14 on Lynch's 6-yard TD pass to Ashford Perez.
The Rockets trailed 31-14 but got within seven points after Jeremiah Detmer's 34-yard field goal with 5:57 left. The Huskies picked up three first downs and ran out the clock.
Moore had 153 yards receiving for NIU. Terrance Owens threw for 265 yards and ran for a score for Toledo.
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As if the possibility of clinching their first National League pennant in 71 years didn't create enough drama and excitement in Wrigleyville, the Cubs have sent Kyle Schwarber to the Arizona Fall League, hoping he can add another chapter to his October legend.
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Schwarber earned this chance after beating every expectation in his recovery from major knee surgery in April. The Cubs haven't ruled anything in or out - and still need to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time - but they want to see how he responds on Saturday with the Mesa Solar Sox and then decide if he would be a viable designated-hitter option for the World Series.
Jeff George Jr. got the start at quarterback for the Illini in Saturday's game against Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The News-Gazette's Bob Asmussen first reported the news, with neither Wes Lunt nor Chayce Crouch able to play in Saturday's game, forcing George into starting duty.
Lunt was knocked out of Illinois' loss to Purdue two weeks ago and did not play last weekend against Rutgers. Crouch, who took over for Lunt against Purdue and rushed for 137 yards in that game, started in the win over Rutgers, but he apparently suffered a shoulder injury in that game.
George got a very small bit of action in this season's Week 1 win over Murray State, but this will be his first career start.
George is the son of Jeff George, the former Illinois quarterback who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft.