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Morning Box Score: Defense Lifts NU; Spartans Mental Lapses Benefit ND

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 22, 2013 2:30PM

2012_10_21_northwestern_logo.jpg Northwestern 35, Maine 21
Defense prevented an upset at Ryan Field Saturday as Northwestern looks to a showdown with Ohio State next week. The Wildcats had interception returns for touchdowns by Damien Proby and Dean Lowry to offset NU's offensive hiccups and keep the Black Bears at bay. Maine outgained Northwestern on offense (379 to 373) and time of possession (33:10 to 26:50) but Proby's 49-yard pick six in the second quarter and Lowry's 19-yard interception return for a score in the third gave the Wildcats some breathing room just as Maine's offense started to heat up. Kain Colter passed for 95 yards and a score for NU. Maine was led by quarterback Marcus Wasilewski's 237 passing yards and two touchdown passes.

Notre Dame 17, Michigan State 13
The Spartans are thinking about what could have been Sunday after losing a winnable game against the Irish at South Bend—Michigan State's first loss of the season. The Spartans had four pass interference calls and a holding penalty that kept Notre Dame drives alive and a costly interception thrown by receiver R.J. Shelton on a trick play as they were starting to gain momentum. The play that sealed the loss was a 42-yard field goal by Spartans kicker Michael Geiger with more than 10 minutes left in regulation. The Notre Dame defense stiffened after that and the Spartans couldn't muster much offense the rest of the game.

Northern Illinois 43, Eastern Illinois 39
The Huskies avoided an upset bid by the Panthers in DeKalb thanks to the all-purpose play of quarterback Jordan Lynch. The senior from Chicago passed for 235 yards and a score and rushed for 189 as NIU overcame six touchdown passes by Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Eastern Illinois stormed to a 20-6 first quarter lead thanks to Garoppolo's passing but the Huskies headed into halftime with a 23-20 lead thanks to two touchdown runs by Cameron Stingily, a 3-yard score from Lynch to Luke Eakes and a field goal by Matthew Sims. The two teams traded scores in the third and fourth quarters and Eastern Illinois held a 39-36 lead in the final 12 minutes before Keith Harris put NIU ahead for good on an 8-yard run.

In baseball, the Cubs prevented Atlanta from clinching the NL East crown with a 3-1 win at Wrigley Field while the White Sox are six losses away from reaching the 100-loss plateau with a 7-6, 12-inning loss at Detroit highlighted by a ninth inning collapse where the Tigers scored six runs to force extras.