MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) Jase Bauer threw for one touchdown and rushed for two more, Marion Lukes had 202 yards rushing and a score, and Central Michigan held off Northern Illinois 37-31 on a snowy Tuesday night.

Bauer gave CMU a 37-11 lead with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter. But NIU answered two plays later when Rocky Lombardi connected with Trayvon Rudolph on a 72-yard score to begin a stretch of 20 straight points.

The NIU defense forced a three-and-out with 1:42 remaining in the fourth to get another chance on offense. But the Huskies turned it over on third down when Nahree Biggins made his first interception of the season.

NIU finished 0 for 10 on third down.

Central Michigan (5-4, 3-2 Mid-American Conference) needs one win in its final three games - Western Michigan, Ohio and Toledo – to become bowl eligible.

The Chippewas, who entered averaging 138 yards on the ground, finished with a season-high 331 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Bauer threw for 116 yards and rushed for 106.

Antario Brown, ranked second in the MAC with 676 rushing yards, had 167 yards rushing for Northern Illinois (4-5, 3-2), which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Lombardi was 19 of 34 for 288 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.


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