ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Chris Nendick kicked 39-yard field goal as
time ran out to save Northern Illinois from a late-game collapse
and give the Huskies a 30-28 victory over Central Florida on
Northern Illinois (4-2, 3-0 Mid-American) led by 21 points at
halftime, and by 13 with 10 minutes remaining.
But Golden Knights running back Dontavius Wilcox scored twice in
the final 4:19, including a go-ahead 4-yard run with 45 seconds to
play, apparently giving coach George O'Leary his first victory at
The Huskies took possession at their 34, and quarterback Josh
Haldi completed passes of 16, 11 and 15 yards to tight end Brad
Cieslak. After a short run put the ball in the middle of the field,
Nendick's third field goal of the game cleared the crossbar with
room to spare.
Earlier in the half, Nendick kicked field goals of 24 and 28
UCF (0-5, 0-2) has lost nine straight games, its longest losing
streak since 1982 when it competed as a Division II program.
Wilcox's 14-yard reception from Steven Moffett cut the deficit
to 27-21 with 4:19 remaining, and the Huskies were forced into its
first three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Moffett completed an
8-yard pass to Tavaris Capers on a fourth-and-6 from the Northern
Illinois 16, and Wilcox ran twice for UCF's first lead of the game.
Haldi completed 17 of 30 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.
But he also threw three interceptions, including one Travonti
Johnson returned for a touchdown that brought UCF within 24-14
points with 14 minutes remaining.
Scott Frost, who was hired as head coach at UCF on Tuesday, will inherit an offense that averaged a dismal 268.4 yards per game this season.
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