Northern Illinois vs. Ball State final score: Huskies defeat Cardinals, 35-23

Though they struggled early on, Northern Illinois managed to improve to 5-1 on the season with three straight touchdowns in the second half, besting Ball State by a score of 35-23.

Keith Wenning had a big day throwing the ball for the Cardinals, but he was called on to throw it a whopping 71 times, putting up 434 yards, but only one touchdown.

He also threw two interceptions at bad times, which hurt them in the long run. Meanwhile Jordan Lynch only threw for 195 yards for the Huskies, but he didn't notch an interception and there's also the small matter of the 200-plus yards he racked up on the ground. He had more rushing yards (207) than Ball St. did as a team (129).

Lynch was in on all three of the second-half touchdowns that sealed the win for Northern Illinois. One was a rush of 12 yards, one was a 54-yard completion to Akeem Daniels, and the other was a gigantic 71-yard rush in the final four minutes of play.

The final score would have been a bit closer, had Steven Schott not missed two of his five field goal attempts. He managed to hit one from 43 yards out, but had misses of 34 and 33 yards, both in the second half when Ball State needed them the most.

Box Score Hero: Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch amassed 195 yards through the air, with a touchdown and an average of 8.5 yards per throw. He also ran for a whopping 207 yards off of 29 carries, and was the leading rusher for both teams by far. He also found the end zone three times on the ground.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked heading into this game and it's unlikely that they will afterward. The Huskies are 5-1, but Ball State likely won't be the team to put them over.

But Did They Cover? Ball State opened as narrow 1-point favorites, but things swayed in favor of the Huskies, who were favored to win by 3 by most. The over/under was in the high 60s, so betting the over there was not a good play.

Next Week's Schedule: Northern Illinois will take on Buffalo Oct. 13, while Ball State will try to rebound against Western Michigan on the same day.

This story originally appeared at SB Nation.

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