NIU Beats Ball State, 63-17

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Marcus Childers threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Jackson Abresch scored twice on blocked punts to help Northern Illinois beat Ball State, 63-17, on Thursday night.

Sutton Smith, who came in leading the FBS with 20 tackles for losses this season, had two Thursday to set the Northern Illinois single-season record. The Huskies (7-3, 5-1 Mid-American Conference) finished with a school-record 18 TFLs (the most in an FBS game this season), including a season-high-tying seven sacks.

Childers threw touchdown passes to Shane Wimann and Jordan Huff before Trayshon Foster blocked a punt which Jackson Abresch returned 13 yards for a score to make it 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. Jauan Wesley blocked another Ball State (2-8, 0-6) punt, from inside its own end zone, and Abresch covered it to cap the scoring with 4:18 to play. The Huskies have blocked four punts in their last three games.

Drew Plitt, Ball State’s fourth-string quarterback, made his second career start and completed 9 of 14 passes for 89 yards and a score before being replaced by Jack Milas at halftime.

Northern Illinois has won nine in a row against the Cardinals.

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