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updated: 10/26/2013 8:27 PM

No. 23 NIU improves to 8-0 with 59-20 win

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  • Northern Illinois linebacker Bobby Jones IV, center, rolls over Eastern Michigan defensive back Willie Creear, right, as teammate Donald Coleman, left, rolls away during the second half.

      Northern Illinois linebacker Bobby Jones IV, center, rolls over Eastern Michigan defensive back Willie Creear, right, as teammate Donald Coleman, left, rolls away during the second half.
    associated press

  • Video: NIU opening

 
Associated Press

DE KALB -- Jordan Lynch threw four touchdown passes and caught another as No. 23 Northern Illinois reached its best start as a major program with a 59-20 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

The Huskies (8-0, 4-0 Mid-American Conference) never trailed on the way to a season-high in points and second-highest total offense (658 yards).

The Eagles (1-7, 0-4) lost their seventh straight.

Lynch, the nation's No. 7 rusher entering Saturday, also ran for a touchdown while rushing 18 times for 99 yards. He was 16-of-20 passing for 223 yards while tying a career high with four TD passes in less than three quarters.

Tommylee Lewis had eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Da'Ron Brown caught three passes for 28 yards and two scores.

Eastern Michigan's Bronson Hill rushed 17 times for a team-high 66 yards while Brogan Roback was 7-of-17 passing for 109 yards.

The start is the best since Northern Illinois reached major college status in 1969. While a College Division team the Huskies went 10-0 in 1963 and started 9-0 in 1965.

It was the Huskies' 24th straight home win, the nation's longest active streak, and extended their conference record 21-game MAC winning streak.

The Huskies had 229 net yards and scored three times in the opening quarter on the way to a 21-3 lead.

Northern Illinois marched 82 yards in 13 plays in its opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead after Lynch's 5-yard touchdown pass to Brown.

On their second drive, the Huskies moved 80 yards in three plays with a 10-yard TD pass to freshman Joel Bouagnon for a 14-0 lead. Lynch made it 21-0 on a 30-yard touchdown run.

Eastern Michigan then saw a promising drive stall inside the Northern Illinois 10 and settled for a 25-yard field goal by Dylan Mulder.

Lynch made it 28-3 with a 17-yard touchdown reception from Lewis. Then, with 2:08 left in the half, Lynch fired a 16-yard touchdown strike to Juwa Brescacin as the Huskies opened a 35-3 lead. Matt Sims' 28-yard field goal just before halftime made it 38-3.

Eastern Michigan's opening drive of the second half reached the Northern Illinois 15 but ended with a 38-yard field goal by Mulder.

Brown's second touchdown pass -- a 28-yard play with Lynch -- made it 45-6.

The Eagles finally got into the end zone with 6:33 left in the third when Tyler Benz hit Tyreese Russell on a 9-yard touchdown pass that made it 45-13.

Redshirt freshman Matt Williams caught his first career touchdown pass, a 36-yard pass play from backup quarterback Matt McIntosh, as Northern Illinois opened a 52-13 lead.

Reserve quarterback Matt Hare's 11-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Connors made it 59-13 early in the fourth. Eastern Michigan's Ryan Brumfield closed the scoring a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:11 to play.

Before the game Northern Illinois officially opened a new $9.5 million indoor facility. The multi-purpose Chessick Practice Center features a full-size 120-yard practice field and amenities for other sports.

Bothteams wore No. 2 decals on their helmets and observed a moment of silence before the game in memory of Eastern Michigan junior Demarius Reed, a Chicago native killed in a Oct. 18 shooting in Ypsilanti, Mich.

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