DEKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois thwarted Miami University's bid for a come-from-behind victory with a last-ditch defensive stand to preserve a 17-13 Mid-American Conference victory on Saturday.
Huskie cornerback Melvin Rice and linebacker Josh Allen broke up back-to-back end zone passes by RedHawks quarterback Dan Raudabaugh with less than 90 seconds to play to shut down the late Miami of Ohio drive.
Northern Illinois (3-3, 2-1) has now won three of its last four games, with only a four-point loss at Tennessee in the span. Miami slipped to 1-5 and has lost three straight.
The RedHawks led 13-10 after a 35-yard Nathan Parseghian field goal with 4:53 left in the third quarter. Northern Illinois reclaimed the lead with 2:32 remaining when sophomore tailback Chad Spann capped a 5-play, 67-yard drive with his 2-yard touchdown run.
Miami replied five minutes later when return specialist Eugene Harris snared a Andy Dittbenner punt and ran back 63 yards for a touchdown. Miami forced a 10-10 tie just before halftime on Parseghian's 44-yard field goal.
Northern Illinois drove deep into Miami territory on each of its two first possessions and settled for field goal tries each time. Kicker Mike Salerno hit his first -- a 38-yd attempt -- but missed a 30-yarder with 4:58 left in the opening quarter.