Friday, December 27, 2013
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Utah State 21, Northern Illinois 14

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[December 27, 2013]  SAN DIEGO  Utah State 21, No. 23 Northern Illinois 14: Joey DeMartino rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown and the Aggies' defense frustrated Jordan Lynch while posting the victory in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

Darell Garretson tossed a 5-yard scoring pass to Brandon Swindall in the third quarter as Utah State (9-5) recorded back-to-back bowl victories for the first time in school history. The Aggies limited Lynch to 39 rushing yards on 18 attempts while holding Northern Illinois more than 27 points below its season scoring average.

Lynch finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting but never got untracked on the ground in his final game for the Huskies (12-2). He was 20-of-35 passing for 216 yards and was intercepted once and also lost a fumble that set up Utah State's first three points.

Lynch's 1-yard run with 8:17 left in the first half helped the Huskies to a 7-6 lead before Utah State went ahead on Swindall's touchdown grab 3:03 into the third quarter. Northern Illinois took over on the Utah State 13-yard line after Ken Bishop's interception early in the fourth quarter but Lynch was unable to get a first down and kicker Mathew Sims missed wide right on 29-yard attempt with 11:33 to play.

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Utah State answered with a punishing 17-play, 80-yard drive, capped by DeMartino's 1-yard run with 4:14 left. Lynch threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Brescacin with 1:44 remaining but the Aggies covered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Northern Illinois S Jimmie Ward recorded his seventh interception of the season to snuff out a Utah State scoring threat late in the third quarter. The Aggies went 7-0 this season when DeMartino topped 100 rushing yards. Sims also missed a 37-yarder in the opening quarter, while Utah State's Nick Diaz kicked field goals of 31 and 39 yards over the first 15-plus minutes for a 6-0 lead.

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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