Cooper Rush threw two touchdown passes and Brian Eavey kicked three field goals Saturday to help Central Michigan overtake Northern Illinois for a 29-19 win in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.
Trailing 10-3 at the half, Central Michigan (2-3) tied it up early in the third quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Rush to Jesse Kroll, who later hauled in a 23-yard TD strike as well. Jahray Hayes punched in a touchdown from the 4 to extend the lead and Eavey padded it in the fourth quarter with his third field goal of the game, a 41-yarder.
Rush, who had been averaging 317 yards per game, completed 16 of 31 passes for 182 yards and an interception.
Northern Illinois (2-3), the defending league champion, got two touchdowns from Joel Bouagnon, who finished with 104 yards on 26 carries.