DeKALB – Dave Doeren didn't necessarily want to admit it after Saturday's 30-23 win over Kansas.
However, the second-year Northern Illinois coach couldn't help it. His team has done a good job of coming from behind.
Last week's 41-40 win over Army saw the Huskies score in the final five minutes to take the lead. Saturday against Kansas, NIU did it again, scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the Jayhawks.
The win is NIU's 17th consecutive at Huskie Stadium.
"I hate to say it but we're pretty good at coming back," Doeren said. "I'd like to get up on somebody and put them in the woodshed once, but we didn't get to do that today. There was no panic, that's not going to be part of our makeup."
Things looked somewhat bleak for the Huskies (3-1) when junior quarterback Jordan Lynch threw a pass that was picked off by Kansas cornerback Tyler Patmon and returned for a touchdown, giving the Jayhawks (1-3) a 23-13 lead with 14:33 left in the game.
But NIU roared back, and it all started with, believe it or not, the team's very next play from scrimmage.
Kansas head coach Charlie Weis thought it was a broken play. Lynch actually dropped the snap, and it looked like he was going to take off in the quarterback run play, which has worked well so many times this season.
He also had the option of throwing the ball, and hit Martel Moore with a short jump pass, which the senior receiver took 65 yards for a touchdown.
"We saw the linebacker had been coming down all day on 'Tel," Lynch said. "'Tel did a little slant behind him and I got the option of just running it or throwing it. 'Tel was open, so I just threw it to him."
Mathew Sims would tie the game with a 44-yard field goal with 7:58 left in the game, and Leighton Settle gave the Huskies the lead for good when he scored from two yards out with just 4:33 remaining in the contest.
Moore's touchdown catch came after he had some miscommunication with Lynch on the interception.
"The miscommunication was a big thing. I just knew I had to come back and help the team out and make a spark, basically," Moore said. "If I make a spark, then the defense is going to spark up. Basically, I just wanted to go out there and help the team."
The Kansas offense was able to run the ball on NIU at times as the Jayhawks recorded 45 rushes for 179 yards.
NIU kept consistent pressure on Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist, who was just 10-for-26 passing for 147 yards. Facing a fourth-and-17 from the NIU 29-yard line in the fourth quarter, Crist missed a wide-open Kale Pick down the left sideline.
Weis didn't want to comment on his quarterback's performance until he watches the film Sunday.
"I don't assess it on game day. I think that you can make irrational comments," Weis said. "I do know that there are some throws that he'd like to have back that I'd expect him to make. That I do know."