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N. Illinois claims MAC in 2 OT thriller

DETROIT — Quarterback Jordan Lynch ran for three touchdowns, including a 2-yarder in the second overtime, and cornerback's Demetrius Stone's interception in the end zone gave No. 19 Northern Illinois a 44-37 win over No. 18 Kent State in a stirring Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Friday.

Both teams were hoping a win would boost them into the top 16 of the BCS rankings and give them a berth in one of the marquee bowls. Northern Illinois (12-1) dominated for much of the night, but the Golden Flashes (11-2) tied it at 34 in the final minute of regulation.

Kent State trailed 27-13 in the fourth before scoring two touchdowns in a 15-second span.

After the teams traded field goals in the first overtime, Northern Illinois needed only two plays to reach the end zone. A 23-yard run by Akeem Daniels set up Lynch's final TD.

Kent State reached the 9, but on fourth down, Spencer Keith had to scramble to his right and throw a pass that was picked off by Stone in the end zone.

Obituary: Dean Brown, a starting tackle on Notre Dame's 1988 national championship team, died Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic. He was 44. Mr. Brown went to the hospital with upper respiratory illness, his brother said, and doctors later said a blood clot caused his death.

Big Ten title game: Wisconsin and No. 14 Nebraska likely will play tonight's championship game in front of at least a few empty seats in Indianapolis. A little more than 24 hours before kickoff, thousands of tickets remained unsold and Big Ten officials were already saying they didn't anticipate selling all of them.

Military Bowl: San Jose State accepted an invitation to the Dec. 27 bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, and the Mid-American Conference announced that it reached an agreement with the bowl for one of its teams to be in the game Dec. 27. This year's game was supposed to be Army against an ACC team, but Army isn't eligible, and the ACC has only six bowl-eligible teams.

Georgia State: Trent Miles is leaving Indiana State to replace Bill Curry, 70, who is retiring.

Missouri: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will skip his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Porn case dismissed: Todd Hoffner, coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, said he was "thankful to be waking up from this nightmare" when a judge dismissed the case in which the 46-year-old was accused of child pornography involving his own children. The judge agreed with his assertion that innocent family videos had been misinterpreted. He had been escorted off a practice field and arrested in August after a university employee came across cellphone videos of his children dancing and playing naked.

N. Illinois claims MAC in 2 OT thriller 11/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:30am]
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