DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Joel Bouagnon ran for three second-half touchdowns and Northern Illinois rallied from a 17-3 first-half deficit to beat UNLV 38-30 in the season opener on Saturday night.
Bouagnon scored from 16 yards out to give the Huskies the lead, 24-20 with 1:24 left in the third quarter, then added runs of 1- and 29-yards in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 38-23 with 8:10 left.
Blake Decker got UNLV on the board with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Devonte Boyd in the first quarter and fired a 41-yard scoring pass to Aaron Criswell with 5:26 left to cut the Huskies' lead to 38-30, but a drive for a chance to tie the game stalled at midfield.
Iowa pounds Illinois State
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa tried a fake field goal for what felt like the first time in years.
It didn't work.
The crowd cheered anyway.
A frustrated fan base desperate for change got it during an impressive opener for the Hawkeyes.
C.J. Beathard threw for 211 yards and a touchdown in his first career start at Kinnick Stadium and Iowa pounded Illinois State 31-14 on Saturday.
Beathard was 15 of 24 passing and also ran for two touchdowns, and LeShun Daniels, Jr. had a career-high 123 yards rushing for the Hawkeyes.
Howard's 3 TDs, late stop lift Indiana over S. Illinois
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana may have left Memorial Stadium Saturday with more questions than answers following its season opener against Southern Illinois.
That's what happens when you have to survive a failed 2-point conversion try in the closing seconds to hang on for a 48-47 victory over a Football Championship Subdivision foe.
Offensively, the Hoosiers put up 595 yards, looked good in the running game and watched as senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld showed no signs of rust after missing the final six games a year ago with an injury to his non-throwing left shoulder. Sudfeld completed 19 of 32 passes for 349 yards and a touchdown.
Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB who gained nearly 1,600 yards as a sophomore last season, gained 145 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns in his IU debut. Redshirt junior wide receiver Ricky Jones had six catches for 186 yards and a score.
But the primary reason Indiana has only been to one bowl game in the last 21 seasons is that the Hoosiers have never been able to measure up on defense. Saturday the Indiana defense gave up 659 yards.
Southern Illinois' Mark Iannotti completed 24 of 31 passes for 411 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 106 yards on 17 carries and another score. His 517 yards of total offense shattered the school record of 443 yards set in 2007 by current SIU quarterbacks coach Nick Hill.
Western Illinois beats Eastern Illinois
MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — Lance Lenoir caught a touchdown pass and sparkled on punt and kickoff returns to help the Leathernecks beat Eastern Illinois 33-5 in a season-opener Thursday night.
The Leathernecks took advantage of three interceptions and two fumbles by Jalen Whitlow and 14 Panthers penalties.
Trailing 3-0, Lenoir returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards. Three plays later Trenton Norvell threw 19 yards to Lenoir for a touchdown. Lenoir had 124 yards on 10 catches.
It was 14-3 after a 1-yard scoring run by Devon Moore, which came after an interception and a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a missed field-goal attempt.