DeKalb, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Lynch threw for 220 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score as 23rd-ranked Northern Illinois defeated Akron, 27-20, at Huskie Stadium.
Lynch went 16-of-35 through the air while picking up 83 yards on 15 carries for the Huskies (6-0, 2-0 MAC), who have now won their 23rd straight home game.
Cameron Stingily rushed for 80 yards on 21 attempts with a touchdown, while Tommylee Lewis had six catches for a total of 58 yards.
"It's a good football team we just got done playing. We feel good we got the win and got out," said Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey.
Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl was 24-of-56 for 262 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Jawon Chisholm carried the ball 21 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the Zips' (1-6, 0-3) 30th straight road loss.
"I'd just like to commend Northern Illinois on the way their players play. They play so very hard and they're well coached. They never give away a game. We about snuck in on that one. They don't give games away. That's why they have the record they have," said Akron coach Terry Bowden.
Pohl connected with receiver Mykel Traylor-Bennett for 34 yards to push the Zips inside the Huskies' 20 before Chisholm leaped into the end zone from a yard out to put Akron up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Northern Illinois responded by scoring on their next three drives. Lynch eluded pressure and rushed in from 18 yards out to tie the game at 7-7. Tyler Wedel hit a 42-yard field goal on the Huskies' following possession to put NIU ahead.
Later in the first quarter, Stingily side-stepped a diving defender and rushed 19 yards on a 4th-and-1 situation. Three plays afterward, Lynch found Desroy Maxwell for a 25-yard touchdown with under five minutes to go in the period.
Pohl lofted a 42-yard pass to Jerrod Dillard to the Huskies' 23-yard line before the close of the opening quarter. A 21-yard catch from L.T. Smith later placed the Zips at the 2-yard line and on third-and-goal from the one, Chisholm jumped over the pile to cut Northern Illinois' lead down to three points.
Akron's special teams came up big in the second quarter, as Wedel had a 46-yard field goal attempt blocked by Bryan Green. He would also have a 40- yard attempt blocked with 1:15 left in the game.
Northern Illinois scored on its first series of the second half to extend the lead. Lynch completed a pass of 40 yards to Lewis to put the Huskies in Akron territory, and Stingily burst up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown that gave his team a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter.
A leaping Jimmie Ward picked off Pohl at Akron's 28 early in the fourth quarter. The Huskies would move the ball to the four before Wedel nailed a 21- yard field goal to extend Northern Illinois' lead to 27-14.
Akron would respond with an 18-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown catch by Tyrell Goodman, with Pohl rolling out to his right and finding his receiver near the back of the end zone. Kicker Robert Stein's extra point was blocked, however, to keep the game 27-20 in favor of the Huskies with a little less than six minutes to go.
The Northern Illinois defense then preserved the win by stopping Akron on downs on its final two drives.
Northern Illinois' last loss at home was a 34-31 setback to Idaho on September 16, 2009 ... The Huskies have also won 19 consecutive games against MAC opponents ... The Zips have not won a road game since October 18, 2008 ... Northern Illinois totaled 399 yards ... Akron committed 10 penalties that cost them 91 yards.