MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Senior quarterback Jordan Lynch rushed for a career-high 316 yards and scored three touchdowns on 32 carries, lifting unbeaten Northern Illinois to a 38-17 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Lynch also passed for 155 yards and a score for Northern Illinois (7-0 overall, 3-0 Mid-American Conference West), which has won 20 straight over conference opponents. Lynch's previous rushing high was 207 yards against Ball State last season. He came 37 yards shy of Garrett Wolfe's school record of 353 rushing yards, set against Ball State in 2006.
Tommylee Lewis made 10 receptions and scored a touchdown for the No. 23 Huskies, who have won 13 straight road games, the second-longest current streak nationally behind Oregon's 18-game run.
Cooper Rush passed for 271 yards and two scores for CMU (3-5, 2-2), which had won its last three home games against NIU. Titus Davis caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Lynch rushed for 115 yards in the third quarter, when the Huskies scored 10 unanswered points to gain a 24-14 lead. Lynch had a 28-yard run during NIU's first possession of the half, which led to Tyler Wedel's go-ahead, 34-yard field goal.
The Huskies extended the lead to 10 points with an 11-play, 85-yard drive, capped by Lynch's 1-yard run. Lynch had a 40-yard rush to set up that score.
Ron Coluzzi's 38-yard field goal 10 seconds into the fourth quarter pulled CMU within 24-17. Lynch's 3-yard scoring run with 6:11 left boosted the Huskies' lead to 14. Cameron Stingily's 19-yard run with 1:32 remaining capped the scoring.
Rush passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns during the first half as the teams headed back to the locker rooms tied 14-14. He found Davis in the right corner of the end zone for a 9-yard score to give the Chippewas an early lead. Davis, who missed CMU's 26-23 win at Ohio a last week with a shoulder injury, also had a 38-yard reception on the drive.
Lewis scored on a wide-receiver screen from 9 yards out to tie it. The Chippewas responded in the closing seconds of the first quarter with Rush's 36-yard scoring pass to Andrew Flory.
Jhony Faustin intercepted a Rush pass to set up NIU's second touchdown, Lynch's 5-yard run with 8:11 remaining in the half. Both teams drove deep into enemy territory on their ensuing drives, only to come up empty because of turnovers.
NOTES: NIU defeated Central Michigan 55-24 last season. CMU's 48-41 victory over the Huskies 48-41 on Oct. 1, 2011, was NIU's last conference loss. ... The Chippewas' Saylor Lavallii surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards during the first half. ... NIU has forced at least one turnover in every game this season.