Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

N. Illinois rallies, wins MAC

DETROIT — Mathew Sims kicked a 33-yard field goal on the final play to cap a furious comeback that gave Northern Illinois a 23-20 victory over Ohio in the Mid-American Conference title game Friday.

The Huskies (10-3) trailed 20-0 at halftime before rallying behind quarterback Chandler Harnish to their first MAC championship since 1983. It was a turnabout for Northern Illinois, which lost in the 2010 and 2005 MAC title games on last-minute touchdowns by Miami of Ohio and Akron.

"I said (Thursday) that this is where the senior class was going to leave its legacy, but I was terrible in the first half," Harnish said. "I didn't want to go out like that."

Ohio (9-4) led 20-7 in the fourth quarter, but Harnish threw a 32-yard touchdown to Martel Moore, then a 22-yarder to Nathan Palmer to tie it with 2:52 left.

Meyer eyes UF staff: New Ohio State coach Urban Meyer wants to add Florida receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill to his staff, the Columbus Dispatch reported. It had previously been reported that UF strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti had met with Meyer and was mulling whether to join his former Gator boss in Columbus.

Ex-Aggies coach miffed: Former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman is unhappy with the way he was informed of his firing and doesn't believe his dismissal was justified. He said he was fired Thursday by athletic director Bill Byrne as he pulled into the driveway of a recruit's home after a 6-6 season. He said he had not been given any indication of the move: "I feel like the program is definitely headed in the right direction, and I hope the next coach appreciates the opportunity he's going to get to work with these players."

Florida: Linebacker Dee Finley, who left the team in October, said he's transferring to Division II North Alabama.

ARIZONA STATE: The school has ended its pursuit of Houston's Kevin Sumlin for its coaching position, a Houston television station reported.

North Carolina: Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has interviewed for the head coaching vacancy, the Huntsville Times reported.

Penn State: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen denied a website report that he will interview for the Nittany Lions coaching position Monday. Mullen, in his third season with the Bulldogs after working as Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator at Florida, has Pennsylvania ties.

UCLA: Boise State's Chris Petersen turned down an offer to coach the Bruins that would've paid him close to $4 million annually, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Vanderbilt: Coach James Franklin, who led the Commodores to bowl eligibility in his first year, is being rewarded with a contract extension. No terms were released.

N. Illinois rallies, wins MAC 12/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 3, 2011 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.