Jordan Lynch passed for three touchdowns and Mathew Sims kicked a 36-yard field goal with four seconds left as the visiting Huskies rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Hawkeyes.
Lynch, who finished sixth in last year’s Heisman Trophy voting, finished 25-for-41 for 275 yards and added a team-high 56 yards rushing for Northern Illinois. Jimmie Ward intercepted a pass at midfield and returned it to the Iowa 30 with 1:17 to play, setting up Sims’ third field goal of the day.
Jake Rudock, playing in his first college game, finished 21-for-37 for 256 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for Iowa. The Hawkeyes rallied from an early 10-0 deficit with 17 straight points in the first half, but they could not hold a 27-20 advantage in the final six minutes.
Iowa’s Mike Meyer kicked a 44-yard field goal with 6:42 left to give the Hawkeyes that seven-point advantage, but Lynch found Da’Ron Brown for a 33-yard touchdown with 5:05 remaining to tie the score at 27. Iowa had the ball at its 45 with 1:30 left, but Ward stepped in front of Rudock’s pass on the left sideline.
Iowa’s Christian Kirksey returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown with 27 seconds left in the first quarter, sparking the Hawkeyes to 17 consecutive points. Lynch threw a 21-yard touchdown to Tommylee Lewis with 3:49 remaining before halftime to tie the game at 17, but Rudock scored on a 6-yard run with 53 seconds left as Iowa took a 24-17 lead into intermission.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Iowa rushed for 202 yards, led by Mark Weisman (100 yards on 20 carries) and Damon Bullock (76 yards on 17 carries). … Lewis caught two touchdown passes for the Huskies, while Brown hauled in seven passes for 92 yards. … Northern Illinois, which lost to Iowa in its season opener last year before winning 12 consecutive games, beat the Hawkeyes for the first time in nine tries.