#17 Kent State Loses MAC Championship Game in 2OT

The Kent State BCS dream is over. In a back and forth wild finish, the 21st-ranked Northern Illinois Huskies took the MAC title for the 2nd straight season by a 44-37 mark in 2OT. Kent State had trailed 27-13, but they scored twice in fifteen seconds with under five minutes to play with the help of a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Zack Hitchens. After NIU struck for a touchdown in just four plays, Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith found Tim Erjavec open for a 19-yard touchdown reception with 44 seconds remaining to force overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, but Kent State nearly did not get there after a tight end reverse turned fumble was recovered at the 17-yard line. On the final play of the game in 2OT, Keith was intercepted by Demetrius Stone. It is unlikely that NIU will be able to climb up to 16 in the BCS standings to punch their ticket, but if they can do so with the help of losses from UCLA, Texas, and Boise State, they would be headed to the Orange Bowl. The game’s boxscore can be found here.