Scores

Final

N Illinois 34

(2-2, 1-2 away)

Minnesota 23

(1-3, 0-3 home)

Coverage: BTN

8:30 PM ET, September 25, 2010

TCF Bank Stadium, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

1 2 3 4 T
NIU 7 13 0 1434
MINN 3 10 3 723

Top Performers

Passing: A. Weber (MINN) - 373 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Spann (NIU) - 15 CAR, 223 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Gray (MINN) - 8 REC, 117 YDS, 1 TD

Minnesota coach endures 'Fire Brewster' chants during loss

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chad Spann ran for a career-high 223 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Northern Illinois past Minnesota 34-23 Saturday night.

Chandler Harnish threw touchdown passes to Martel Moore and Connor Flahive for the Huskies (2-2).

Adam Weber threw for a season-high 373 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota (1-3), which lost its third straight at home. The inconsistent Gophers hung with No. 20 USC for three quarters last week before losing 32-21, and lost 41-38 to South Dakota, an FCS team, two weeks ago.

Harnish and Flahive connected for a 2-yard score on fourth down early in the fourth quarter for a 27-16 Huskies lead.

Spann, whose previous high was 174 yards against Eastern Michigan last year, scored on a 61-yard run with 6:22 to play to clear out much of the crowd at TCF Bank Stadium. He had 106 rushing yards in the first half.

Harnish's first touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Moore with 3 seconds left in the first half, gave Northern Illinois a 20-13 lead.

Duane Bennett had 74 rushing yards for Minnesota. He had 299 yards in the Gophers' first two games, but a sore ankle limited him to just six carries and 8 yards last week. Bennett's 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was negated by a holding penalty.

He was stuffed on a fourth-down play at the Northern Illinois 21 to end the same drive. Spann made the game-clinching rumble up the middle three plays later.

Weber found MarQueis Gray for a 29-yard touchdown for Minnesota with 4:18 to play, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds.

Both teams were looking for momentum heading into next week's conference openers -- Minnesota at home to Northwestern in the Big 10 and Northern Illinois at Akron in the Mid-American.

Minnesota may not be favored in any of its eight Big Ten games -- including five with ranked teams -- making it difficult to avoid a third losing season in coach Tim Brewster's four years. There were at least three "Fire Brewster" chants during the game.

It was the second straight strong performance against a Big Ten team for the Huskies, who lost 28-22 at Illinois last week, and are favored by many to win the MAC West Division.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NIU
MINN
1st Downs1223
Total Yards378470
Passing81373
Rushing29797
Penalties5-459-59
3rd Down Conversions5-118-18
4th Down Conversions0-01-3
Turnovers11
Possession23:1736:43

Passing Leaders

Northern IllinoisC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Harnish11/17814.820
MinnesotaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Weber31/463738.121

Rushing Leaders

Northern IllinoisCARYDSAVGTDLG
Spann1522314.9261
Bell33612.0029
MinnesotaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bennett24743.1012
Kirkwood5173.408

Receiving Leaders

Northern IllinoisRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moore3248.0110
Cox11919.0019
MinnesotaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gray811714.6129
Lair79413.4044

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNIUMINN
FG06:21Eric Ellestad 28 Yd 03
TD03:26Chad Spann 3 Yd Run (Michael Cklamovski Kick) 73
SECOND QUARTERNIUMINN
FG09:24Michael Cklamovski 21 Yd 103
TD07:18Da'Jon McKnight 20 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick) 1010
FG06:09Eric Ellestad 42 Yd 1013
FG02:37Michael Cklamovski 35 Yd 1313
TD00:03Martel Moore 10 Yd Pass From Chandler Harnish (Michael Cklamovski Kick) 2013
THIRD QUARTERNIUMINN
FG06:26Eric Ellestad 21 Yd 2016
FOURTH QUARTERNIUMINN
TD13:55Connor Flahive 2 Yd Pass From Chandler Harnish (Michael Cklamovski Kick) 2716
TD06:22Chad Spann 61 Yd Run (Michael Cklamovski Kick) 3416
TD04:18MarQueis Gray 29 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick) 3423