DEKALB, Ill. – Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch accounted for 369 total yards and keyed a furious fourth quarter rally as NIU topped Kansas, 30-23, at Huskie Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies’ dynamic signal caller threw for 235 yards and rushed for a career-best 134 yards – his third 100-yard game on the ground this season – but more importantly helped NIU (3-1) score 17 unanswered points to surge past Kansas (1-3) in the fourth quarter.
After a tightly contested first three quarters, Kansas created some wiggle room on as Tyler Patmon intercepted Lynch and ran it in from 33 yards out early in the fourth quarter. The return marked KU’s 13th forced turnover of the season, was Patmon’s first career touchdown and gave the Jayhawks a 23-13 lead. The lead was short-lived however.
Lynch hit Martel Moore for a 65-yard touchdown on the Huskies first play from scrimmage and pulled the team within a field goal just 10 seconds after the miscue. Mathew Sims knocked through a game-tying, 44-yard field goal with just under eight minutes to play and Leighton Settle capped the fourth quarter rally with a go-ahead, two-yard plunge with 4:33 left.
NIU’s defense also tightened up in the fourth quarter, holding KU scoreless on four offensive drives and forced two three-and-outs and a turnover on downs on the last three drives. Kansas struggled to convert on third down throughout the game, going 4-for-16 (25 percent) and failed to convert on four third down conversions in the final frame.
Seven different Jayhawks logged carries in the game but it was senior James Sims who found the end zone for the Jayhawks. Sims, in his first game after serving a three-game suspension to start the year, rushed for a team-high 91 yards on 18 carries and gave KU a 10-6 lead with a 26 yard run in the second quarter. The touchdown snapped a six-quarter drought by the KU offense, which previously reached the end zone in the third quarter against Rice.
Sims added another touchdown late in the third quarter, prior to Patmon’s interception and part of a 10-point swing to give KU a two-score lead. Kansas rushers combined for 179 yards on 45 carries. Jayhawk quarterback Dayne
Crist completed 10-of-26 passes for 147 yards and was sacked four times. Kansas linebackers Ben Heeney (12) and Anthony McDonald (11) led the defense in tackles, with Patmon logging the lone takeaway.
Kansas enters a bye week before resuming Big 12 Conference competition on the road against Kansas State on Oct. 6.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 30, KANSAS 23
SEPT. 22, 2012 – DeKALB, ILL.
· Kansas is 1-2 against Northern Illinois all-time.
CAPTAINS: Dayne Crist (QB), Tanner Hawkinson (OT), Toben Opurum (DE/LB), Tunde Bakare (LB)
DEBUTS: Charles Brooks (TE)
FIRST TIME STARTERS: Anthony McDonald (LB), Taylor Cox (HB)
· For the third week in a row, Kansas won the toss and elected to defer to the second half.
· The announced attendance was 18,374, which is the smallest crowd that KU has played in front of since a 2003 game at Wyoming (18,329).
· Senior WR D.J. Beshears had an 12-yard run in the first quarter, which marked his first carry from scrimmage this season. He also had a seven-yard run later in the game.
· Senior WR Christian Matthews carried for a six-yard gain out of the ‘Jayhawk’ formation in the second quarter. It was Matthews’ first rush of the season.
· Matthews completed a shovel pass to James Sims in the game. He became the first Jayhawk other than Dayne Crist to complete a pass this year.
· Matthews recorded an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter, which was the longest run of his career.
· Junior HB James Sims scored KU’s first touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run. It marked Sims’ longest run since a 56-yard run against Oklahoma last season.
· Sims’ touchdown broke a streak of six-straight quarters that KU had gone without a touchdown.
· Sims rushed for two scores in the game, giving him his first multi-score game since recording two touchdowns against Northern Illinois last season.
· Sims two rushing touchdowns give him 18 for his career, which ties him for 14th in school history. He needs just one more to crack the top 10.
· Sims rushed for 91 yards in the game, his highest total since rushing for 110 yards against NIU last season.
· Sophomore HB Tony Pierson had three receptions in the game, giving him nine over the last two contests. Prior to last Saturday, Pierson had eight catches in his career.
· Kansas had seven different players with carries Saturday, the most since the Texas A&M game last season.
· Junior S Dexter Linton recorded a pass break up in the second quarter, which marked the first of his career.
· Linton’s eight tackles were a career high.
· Sophomore LB Ben Heeney collected 12 tackles, which set a new career high.
· Senior LB Anthony McDonald recorded 11 tackles in the game, which sets a new career high.
· McDonald also tallied his first TFL in the third quarter.
· Junior CB Tyler Patmon returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, marking KU’s first INT return for a touchdown since the Missouri game last season.
· The interception was Patmon’s second of the season and KU’s sixth of the season.
· The Jayhawks have now forced 13 turnovers this season. Heading into the week, KU was tied for the nation’s lead in turnovers forced.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
· Junior PK Ron Doherty kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter. It marked his fifth-straight game with a field goal, dating back to last season.