Even with increasingly the passing-friendly rules being enacted, you're still not likely to witness what the fans at the Glass Bowl in Toledo were treated to on Tuesday night. In a game with major implications for the Mid-American Conference's West division title, both offenses were absolutely churning. Generally speaking, two teams scoring 17 points in a game isn't totally unheard of. What about 17 touchdowns, though? Because that's the total number that both teams reached in the Northern Illinois Huskies' 63-60 victory over the Toledo Rockets on Tuesday.
A game that started off as a shootout with a 21-14 first quarter only sustained things from there, with the score hitting 42-38 after three quarters before both teams finished things off with an action-packed, 43-point fourth quarter. The game concluded when Toledo couldn't match Northern Illinois' final touchdown, a 4-yard pass from Chandler Harnish to Perez Ashford that came with just 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The offenses were the big stars of the night, as both teams accumulated more than 500 yards of total offense apiece and only one turnover was committed. The game got started by special teams, though, as the Huskies' Tommylee Lewis returned the opening kick 100 yards for a score to quickly give Northern Illinois a 7-0 lead. He wasn't done, either, returning another kick 95 yards for a score just five minutes after the first, giving the Huskies their second touchdown.
Northern Illinois' offense took its cue from there, with quarterback Chandler Harnish leading the way. The senior had his best game of the season, competing 17 of 26 passes for 265 yards and 6 touchdowns while getting another 133 yards rushing on 16 carries. He traded shots all game with Toledo's Austin Dantin, who went 20-for-33 for 322 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air in addition to running for 60 and another touchdown on the ground.
The win pushes Northern Illinois up to 6-3 on the season and 4-1 in the Mid-American Conference, pushing them into a tie for first place with Toledo. The Rockets came into the game unbeaten in conference games, but walk away with a 5-4 overall record and a 4-1 record against other MAC teams. Both teams have fairly easy schedules for their final three games, as they each faces some of the conference's lesser teams.
For more on Tuesday's game, check out Red And Black Attack, SB Nation's Northern Illinois Huskies blog.