Northern Illinois stumbles at home against Ohio

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NIU blocks an Ohio field goal in the fourth quarter but a fluke play would let Ohio keep the ball.

With a chance to return to Detroit for the MAC Championship Game on the line, Northern Illinois fell short Tuesday night against Ohio. The Huskies lost 26-21 to Ohio.

The game became a war of attrition between the two teams. While Ohio held the lead the entire game, it was the third string quarterback for both schools that would finish the game. But injuries were just one of the many oddities to Tuesday night’s game.

Down nine with more than seven minutes to go, Ohio attempted a long field goal. The Huskies brought the house, blocking the kick. But because the ball never crossed the line of scrimmage, the Bobcats were allowed to advance. An offensive lineman picked up the ball and ran for a first down.

The Huskies would eventually allow Ohio to successfully kick the field goal, going up 12. With third string and true freshman quarterback Tommy Fiedler in the game, the Huskies didn’t fold. Fiedler moved Northern down the field, scoring a touchdown with more than a minute to go.

Unfortunately, NIU was unable to recover the onside kick. After three kneel-downs, Ohio won the game. With the loss, the Huskies fell out of control for the MAC West. For the first time since 2009, NIU will not reach the MAC Championship Game.

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