FINAL: NIU 40, Fresno State 17
In the end, this one wasn't even close. Northern Illinois found its groove for the Humanitarian Bowl and defeated the Bulldogs soundly at Bronco Stadium under interim head coach Tom Matukewicz. The Huskies finish the season 11-3, the most wins for a single season in school history. The bowl victory is the first since NIU won the 2004 Silicon Valley Classic.
NIU 33, Fresno State 10: 1:06 left in third quarter
Chad Spann found the end zone on an 18-yard touchdown run and Northern Illinois is running away with this bowl game. The Huskies have 420 total yards of offense.
NIU 26, Fresno State 10: 3:55 left in third quarter
The turnovers that have plagued Fresno State all season continue in the bowl game. Tommy Davis recovered a Ryan Colburn fumble when the Bulldogs seemed poised to score.
NIU 26, Fresno State 10, 10:13 left in third quarter
Cklamovski just made history with a 51-yard field goal, the longest in Humanitarian Bowl history. The field goal also ties for the third-longest in school history.
HALFTIME: NIU 23, Fresno State 10
Interim head coach Tom Matukewicz iced Fresno State kicker Kevin Goessling with two timeouts and two seconds left in the second half. Goessling missed a 43-yard field goal as the first half ended. The Huskies are rolling on offense, with 282 total yards to Fresno State's 163. NIU has plenty of balance, with 168 passing yards and 114 yards on the ground. Jake Coffman has a career-high three sacks.
NIU 23, Fresno State 10: 57 seconds left in second quarter
NIU's offense is rolling again. Harnish found fullback Kyle Skarb for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Huskies a two-possession lead just before halftime.
NIU 16, Fresno State 10: 3:41 left in second quarter
Jake Coffman is playing one of the best games of his career. The NIU senior defensive end has three sacks and a forced fumble. Fresno State got back on the board with a 45-yard field goal.
NIU 16, Fresno State 7: 9:14 left in second quarter
Cklamovski drives a 45-yard field goal straight through the uprights to give the Huskies a 16-7 lead.
NIU 13, Fresno State 7: 14:20 left in second quarter
Chandler Harnish ran straight up the middle for a touchdown again, this time for 28 yards, to give NIU a 13-7 lead. Chad Spann had a long 24-yard run on the drive and the Huskies are beginning to really establish their ground game.
Fresno State 7, NIU 6: 3:10 left in first
NIU marched down the field and puncuated the scoring drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Harnish. But kicker Michael Cklamovski missed the extra point, his sixth of the season, and it's a one-point game.
Fresno State 7, NIU 0: 5:25 left in first
A desperation heave from quarterback Ryan Colburn to wide receiver Jamel Hamler gave Fresno State the first score of the game on an 11-yard touchdown pass. The play did go under review, but Hamler kept his left foot in. The Bulldogs converted three third downs on the drive.
NIU 0, Fresno State 0, 11:58 left in first
Quarterback Chandler Harnish and the Huskies came out firing, with Harnish completing his first three passes for 43 yards, but NIU stalled at the Fresno State 31. The Huskies went for it on 4th-and-3 and Harnish's pass intended for tight end Jason Schepler was deflected and fell to the blue turf.
5 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
Some cool touches from the bowl during the national anthem – a B-2 flyover, the releasing of doves and a group signing the anthem for those that are deaf or hard of hearing
30 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
One injury note today. Defensive end Stephen O'Neal is a gametime decision because of a concussion.
40 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
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60 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
A few pregame numbers for you.
NIU postseason record (as a major college): 2-3
Fresno State postseason record: 11-11 (including 1-0 in the Humanitarian Bowl)
NIU: .77, good for 18th in the NCAA
Fresno State: -.83, good for 111th in the NCAA
NIU: 264.77 yards a game, good for 7th in NCAA
Fresno State: 154.75 yards a game, good for 66th in NCAA
75 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
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90 MINUTES TO KICKOFF
Hello everyone, Daily Chronicle sports editor John Sahly up here in the press box at Bronco Stadium, site of today's uDrove Humanitarian Bowl between Northern Illinois and Fresno State. First off, a big thank you to the staff at the bowl and the people of Boise. By far, it has been the best of my three bowl experiences here at the Daily Chronicle.
If you caught my video diary this morning, I reported that there was snow on the ground and the forecast of 1-3 inches of snow appeared to be correct. Of course, since that video was posted, no snow. I'm not going to make any more weather predictions, but right now the field is in good shape.