DETROIT (AP) — Jordan Lynch and No. 16 Northern Illinois failed to take advantage of opportunity to impress Heisman Trophy voters and earn a BCS bowl game bid.
Matt Johnson threw four of his career-high five touchdown passes in the first half and Bowling Green routed the Huskies 47-27 on Friday night for the Mid-American Conference title, ending their shot at playing in a marquee bowl game.
"We came out kind of flat," Lynch acknowledged.
The Northern Illinois (12-1) loss improves the chances of Baylor or Oregon being an at-large team in a BCS bowl game.
"This game doesn't define us — we're not going to let it," Huskies coach Rod Carey said. "We've got another game, we don't know where yet. We still have a lot to play for."
Instead of going back to a BCS game and helping the MAC get a big check to split among its schools, Northern Illinois might end up coming back to Detroit in a few weeks for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
"We never talked about the BCS," Lynch insisted.
Lynch ran for 126 yards and two TDs to break his own single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback in major college football. When the outcome was still in doubt in the third quarter, Lynch surpassed his yards rushing total from last season — 1,815 — and will have 1,881 yards rushing going into a lackluster bowl game.
He was 21 of 40 for 219 yards with a TD and two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that set up Johnson's fifth TD that put Bowling Green up 40-20.
After Lynch threw an incomplete pass to turn the ball over on downs on the ensuing drive, he was taunted by Falcons fans: "No more Heisman! No more Heisman!"