DEKALB, Ill. (AP) -- Garrett Wolfe ran for 277 yards and five
touchdowns to help Northern Illinois secure its first spot in the
Mid-American Conference championship game with a 42-7 victory over
Western Michigan on Wednesday.
The Western Division champion Huskies (7-4, 6-2) will play Akron
or Bowling Green in the championship game Dec. 1 in Detroit.
"We finally accomplished our goal to get to the MAC
Championship," Huskies safety Ray Smith said. "Now we have to
finish the goal and win it."
Wolfe ran for 156 yards and three TDs in the first half and Sam
Hurd caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Dan Nicholson.
"My teammates give me a lot of credit, but I was running in
daylight," Wolfe said. "Those guys do an unbelievable job of
blocking for me."
The Huskies, who finished with 526 yards of total offense,
scored four times in 12 minutes to take a 28-7 lead at halftime.
"They just came out and smashed us in the mouth," Western
Michigan receiver Greg Jennings said.
Nicholson finished 8-of-13 for 160 yards passing. Hurd led the
Huskies receivers with four receptions for 119 yards.
"It feels great to go out and win and know we're going to
Detroit," Hurd said. "I'm ready to get on that bus."
A win in the MAC title game will assure Northern Illinois of a
"Our goal is to win," Huskies coach Joe Novack said. "Getting
there gives us the chance to win."
Western Michigan's Robbie Haas replaced starter Tim Hiller in
the first quarter and threw a 19-yard TD pass to Tony Scheffler.
Hill left because of a leg injury.
Jennings caught seven passes for 51 yards to break the Western
Michigan career receptions record with 238.