KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- Tim Hiller ran for a touchdown and threw for another in a 3:06 span of the fourth quarter, leading Western Michigan past Northern Illinois 29-26 on Saturday night.
Hiller finished 21-of-30 with three TDs and 186 yards passing with no interceptions for the Broncos (1-1, 1-0 Mid-American). He rushed for just 11 yards, but his 5-yard TD carry with 10:05 left put Western ahead for good, 20-19.
Hiller followed with a 2-point conversion pass to Juan Nunez before connecting with Austin Pritchard, normally a linebacker, on a 1-yard TD.
Dan Nicholson threw for 239 yards and a touchdown for Northern Illinois (0-2, 0-1) in relief of Chandler Harnish, a freshman who threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns in his debut last week at Minnesota. Harnish threw for 58 yards in the Huskies' opening drive Saturday before leaving the game with a foot injury in the first quarter.
A third Northern Illinois quarterback, DeMarcus Grady, ran for 43 yards and a TD.
Brandon West ran for a career-high 175 yards, including 141 in the second half, for Western Michigan. Hamarko Simmons caught 8 passes for 102 yards and preserved the Broncos' victory by recovering an onside kick with 33 seconds left to play.
Defensive end Zach Davidson had two of Western Michigan's four sacks.