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(Saturday, August 31)
Final Score: Northern Illinois 30, Iowa 27
Iowa City, IA (Sports Network) - Head coach Rod Carey earned his first win with Northern Illinois as the Huskies defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes, 30-27, in dramatic fashion at Kinnick Stadium.
Jordan Lynch led the way for the Huskies (1-0), completing 25-of-41 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Lynch also led the team in rushing with 56 yards on the ground. Da'Ron Brown caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown while Tommylee Lewis managed five receptions for 82 yards and two scores.
Leading Iowa (0-1) in his first career start, Jake Rudock was 21-of-37 for 256 yards and a touchdown, but also threw a pair of interceptions. Mark Weisman paced the Hawkeyes in rushing with 100 yards on 20 carries, while Damon Bullock added 76 yards on 17 attempts. Rudock tallied the only rushing score for an Iowa squad that entered the season having lost six in a row, tied for the seventh-longest skid in the nation. Kevonte Martin-Manley led Iowa in receiving with nine catches for 79 yards.
Mathew Sims opened up the scoring with a 47-yard field goal for NIU. Lynch later found Lewis for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give the Huskies a 10-0 advantage.
With the offense struggling, Christian Kirksey of the Hawkeye defense managed to put points on the board when he returned a fumble 52 yards for a score. Shortly after, Mike Meyer knocked through a 28-yard field goal for the Hawkeyes to tie the game, 10-10.
Iowa capped off an efficient four-play, 65-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rudock to C.J. Fiedorowicz to give the Hawkeyes their first lead of the game at the 6:32 mark of the second quarter.
The Huskies responded with an impressive eight-play, 75-yard drive which resulted in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Lynch to Lewis to even the game at 17-17 less than three minutes later.
The Hawkeyes regained the lead in the final minute of the first half when Rudock ran for a six-yard touchdown to finish off another 75-yard drive.
The only scoring in the third quarter was set up by a fake punt by the Huskies, eventually leading to a 25-yard field goal by Sims.
Iowa answered back midway through the fourth quarter with a 44-yard field goal by Meyer to make the score 27-20 in favor of the Hawkeyes.
With just over five minutes remaining in the final period, Lynch found Brown for a 33-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 27-27.
On the first play of a potential go-ahead drive for Iowa with only 1:24 left on the clock, Rudock was intercepted by Jimmie Ward at midfield who then returned it 20 yards.
The interception set up the game-winning, 36-yard field goal by Sims with only four seconds to play in order to secure the three-point win for an NIU squad that bowed to Iowa in the 2012 opener, 18-17.
The defeat for the Hawkeyes snapped what had been a streak of 12 straight wins in season openers.
08/31 20:53:20 ET
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