Northwestern 24

(6-7, 4-3 away)

(23) Bowling Green 28

(11-3, 7-1 home)

Coverage: ABC

6:00 PM ET, December 26, 2003

War Memorial Stadium (WY), Laramie, WY

1 2 3 4 T
NW 7 3 7 724
#23BGSU 0 7 7 1428

Harris throws 3 second-half TDs

DETROIT -- Josh Harris had trouble solving Northwestern's defense at the start of the Motor City Bowl.

It didn't take him long to figure the Wildcats out.

Harris threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Bowling Green past Northwestern 28-24 Friday night.

"They aren't usually a blitzing defense, but they showed us a lot of new looks," Harris said. "We were able to make adjustments at halftime and in the second half we did a nice job of picking up what Northwestern was doing defensively."

Bowling Green (11-3), which was held scoreless in the first quarter, took the lead for good on Harris' 3-yard touchdown pass to Cole Magner with 4:06 left.

"It is easy to play with Josh because we both see the same things," said Magner, a former all-state high school quarterback in Alaska. "I think that comes from being a quarterback myself."

Harris set a Motor City Bowl record for completions with 38 in 50 attempts, and one for total offense with 454 yards. Magner also set a game record for catches, finishing with 12 for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

"We knew going in that Josh Harris was a special player," Northwestern coach Randy Walker said. "We wanted to make him throw the ball. ... He showed why he's such a great player by having success throwing the ball in the second half."

Jason Wright ran for 237 yards on 21 carries and finished with 336 all-purpose yards for Northwestern (6-7).

He had a 77-yard TD run -- the second-longest run in Motor City Bowl history -- to give the Wildcats a 17-7 lead early in the third quarter and an 88-yard kickoff return early in the fourth to set up Noah Herron's 2-yard touchdown run that made it 24-21.

Wright said he took offense to being called slow by one of the announcers during ESPN's Hawaii Bowl broadcast Thursday night.

"I wanted to show how fast I was. Those long runs were ideal," Wright said. "I just didn't want anyone to catch me from behind."

Bowling Green used two 80-yard scoring drives to take a 21-17 lead early in the fourth. Harris threw a 7-yard TD pass to Magner, and put the Falcons on top with an 11-yarder to Steve Sanders.

"I think our kids knew at halftime that we were still in the game," Falcons coach Gregg Brandon said. "I could tell that they had enough resolve to get it done."

Northwestern opened the scoring on Herron's 40-yard fourth-down run in the first quarter, and made it 10-0 on Brian Huffman's 31-yard field goal. Bowling Green answered with a 67-yard drive, capped by Harris' 4-yard run.

With Bowling Green's victory, the Mid-American Conference finished the bowl season with a 2-0 record. Miami of Ohio beat Louisville last week in the GMAC Bowl.

"This is great for our program and for our conference," Brandon said.