Michigan finally beats ranked team as Irish are creamed in Big House.

ANN ARBOR—Jim Harbaugh desperately needed a significant victory to change the conversation, at least temporarily, about the job he’s doing at Michigan.The Wolverines delivered.Zach Charbonnet ran for two touchdowns in the first half and Shea Patterson threw for two scores in the second half, helping No. 19 Michigan rout No. 8 Notre Dame 45-14 in driving rain Saturday night.The Wolverines (6-2) ended an eight-game losing streak against top-10 teams under Harbaugh, who needed a signature win in his fifth season that likely won’t end with the Big Ten title he and college football’s winningest program desperately covet.

”Some of the tests that the team has gone through, you can make a lot of growth from it,” Harbaugh said. With the lopsided loss, the Fighting Irish (5-2) knocked themselves out of the College Football Playoff picture on the rain-filled night that seemed to affect them much more than Michigan.

”Clearly a very disappointing night for Notre Dame,” coach Brian Kelly acknowledged.

The Irish took advantage of a questionable call on pass interference to set up Ian Book’s 7-yard TD pass to Cole Kmet to pull within 10 points late in the third quarter.Michigan responded with Patterson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on the ensuing drive, which got off to a good start with Hassan Haskins’ 49-yard run. The former linebacker finished with career-high 149 yards on 20 carries.Charbonnet had 74 yards rushing on 15 carries, giving Michigan a tandem of running backs to control the game behind an offensive line that created huge holes.Patterson threw his second TD early in the fourth quarter.

Listless Cats blanked by Iowa

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—For Iowa’s defense, the goal is the same every week – dominate.The 20th-ranked Hawkeyes accomplished their mission on Saturday, allowing just 202 yards in a 20-0 rout of Northwestern. The Wildcats’ deepest advance into Iowa territory was the 28-yard line late in the third quarter.Iowa, which entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring defense and 10th in total defense, earned its second shutout of the season and fourth since the beginning of last season.
”A few weeks ago, I said you can beat any team if they don’t score,” defensive end Chauncey Golston said. ”Practice this week, it was something crazy. The tempo was great, everybody was flying around, and we did the same thing today.”
When asked when he started thinking about a shutout, Golston said: ”Before we even got off the bus. We think that every game.”
The offense did enough. Nate Stanley had 179 yards passing with a touchdown, Mekhi Sargent had a rushing touchdown and Tyler Goodson added 58 yards rushing on 11 carries as Iowa (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) won its second straight.Aidan Smith completed 18 of 32 passes for 138 yards with an interception for Northwestern (1-6, 0-5), which dropped its fifth straight.
”I think we’re going to watch the tape and be disappointed,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”There were some opportunities there to make some plays. We’ve got to be more efficient at that position.”
Iowa took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to wide receiver Tyrone Tracy. Tracy caught the ball at about the 30-yard line over the middle, broke a tackle with a spin move and raced down the sideline into the end zone.Keith Duncan hit a 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter for a 10-0 halftime lead. The Hawkeyes stretched the lead to 17-0 on a 1-yard run by Sargent with 5:23 left in the third.Duncan added a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth to close out the scoring.
”Rarely is anything easy in conference play, and there’s certainly nothing automatic,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. ”A lot of good things out there, and probably the most important thing was playing clean football. We protected the football.What can I say about the defense? Obviously, I’m very, very pleased with what they did.”
Stanley’s touchdown pass was the 62nd of his career, breaking a tie with Drew Tate and moving him into second place on Iowa’s all-time list. Chuck Long leads the list with 74.Leading 10-0 with just under a minute left in the first half, Iowa faced a fourth-and-1 from the Northwestern 45. Ferentz was tempted to go for it but decided not to because the defense was playing so well.
”There was nothing to be gained there,” he said.
In the third quarter, facing a fourth-and-8 at the Northwestern 30, the coach did go for it. Stanley completed an 11-yard pass to tight end Shaun Beyer to set up Sargent’s touchdown.A year after winning the Big Ten West, Northwestern is struggling mightily and the fan base is expressing its frustration.
”I get it,” Fitzgerald said. ”I’m a fan first and I graduated from here. We have high expectations and we should have high expectations. We aren’t living up to them. I would prefer people instead of being negative just continue to support our guys. They can be negative with me all they want.”

Bears stink the joint out against Saints.

//fanatics.frgimages.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productimages/_3469000/altimages/ff_3469586-195b1270c634627076f5alt1_full.jpg&w=325

The New Orleans Saints insisted they were ready for the challenge once Drew Brees went down. All they’ve done since is back up their words with wins.Teddy Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints improved to 5-0 without their injured star quarterback by beating the Bears 36-25 on Sunday.

The Saints (6-1) again showed why they still see themselves as Super Bowl contenders even though their star quarterback is out indefinitely because of a torn ligament in his right thumb.Bridgewater completed 23 of 38 passes, Michael Thomas had nine receptions for 131 yards, and Latavius Murray ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

”I think Teddy’s just playing the way he knows how to play,” Murray said. ”I don’t think he’s trying to replace Drew. He’s just come in and been himself. That’s all you can ask because Teddy’s had success before. This is nothing new to him. He’s been a successful quarterback at this level. He’s done a heck of a job, obviously, and he’s been undefeated.”

Besides Brees, New Orleans had to get by without top running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and top receiving tight end Jared Cook (ankle). Both players were ruled out Friday, but that didn’t stop the NFC South leaders from taking down the Monsters of the Midway.

”You look at us overall – offensively, defensively, the kicking game – we’re playing elite football right now,” Bridgewater said. ”Of course, it’s not as pretty as we’d like it to be. But it’s working for us.”

STRUGGLING BEARS

The Bears (3-3) lost their second straight, with Mitchell Trubisky struggling after missing a game because of a shoulder injury.They were hoping their prized quarterback would build on a solid showing in Week 3 against Washington, when he threw for three touchdowns. Instead, he was erratic, made poor decisions and heard it from the crowd.Trubisky finished 34 of 54 with 251 yards and two late touchdowns in his first appearance since he was hurt early against Minnesota on Sept. 29. He said his shoulder was fine, but the offense sure is not.The run game was once again an afterthought, with the Bears setting a franchise low with seven carries. And the 17 yards rushing were by far the fewest this season.

”We just have no rhythm,” Trubisky said. ”It’s not about pointing fingers. We’re struggling as an offense.”

About all the fans had to cheer for was a 102-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson in the first quarter that matched the second-longest in franchise history.But after losing at Oakland in London two weeks ago, it was another rough outing for the Bears. They gave up a season-high 424 yards while being held to 252 and managed just four first downs through the first three quarters. It added up to their fifth straight loss to the Saints, and a 1-2 record at Soldier Field this season.With a 12-10 halftime lead, the Saints drove 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter. A wide open Ted Ginn Jr. hauled in a 45-yard pass and Murray ran it in from the 3 on the next play.New Orleans then wasted a big opportunity after Chicago’s David Montgomery lost a fumble on the next drive. The Saints took over at the Bears 29, only to have Wil Lutz come up short on a 52-yard field goal – his second miss of the day after he made 13 of 14 in the first six games.But Taysom Hill caught a 4-yard touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the third to make it 26-10. And the Saints stayed in control the rest of the way.

#4 OSU rounts Northwestern in rare Friday Night game.

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Eyeing a playoff spot and a shot at the national championship, No. 4 Ohio State sure is locked in at the moment.Justin Fields threw for four touchdowns, J.K. Dobbins rushed for 121 yards and the Buckeyes pounded Northwestern 52-3 on Friday night.Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) did exactly as expected and blew the game open early, jumping to a 31-3 halftime lead.

”I just feel like it’s business,” defensive end Chase Young said. ”That’s the mentality I have, just because I know we can’t have any fluke losses. It’s gonna mess with what we want to do.”

Fields completed 18 of 23 passes for 194 yards. The sophomore transfer from Georgia matched his career high for TDs through the air. He now has 22 passing and 30 overall on the season.The nation’s second-leading rusher, Dobbins scored from the 5 in the second quarter after breaking off a 67-yard run. He also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the first half.The junior now has 947 yards rushing after finishing with more than 1,000 in each of his first two seasons.Chris Olave caught two TDs. Blake Haubeil kicked a 55-yard field goal that tied the second-longest in the history of the storied program. The Buckeyes racked up 480 yards while holding Northwestern to 199 and remained unbeaten heading into their showdown at home with No. 6 Wisconsin next week.

”I think we feel good about the way we came out coming off the bye week – with energy, starting fresh and just refocused on all the things that matter within the program,” coach Ryan Day said. ”Now we know we have a huge challenge next week. … We know what we have in store there, so it’s gonna be a really tough week, tough preparation, tough game, but I know the kids are gonna be excited to play it.”

The loss was the fourth in a row for Nu (1-5, 0-4). The Wildcats haven’t beaten a top-five opponent since the 1959 team opened with victories over No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 5 Iowa.Aidan Smith, making his second straight start, was 6 of 20 for 42 yards and an interception. Smith and Hunter Johnson, who started the first four games before sitting out the loss at Nebraska two weeks ago because of a lower-body injury, were listed with the first team on the depth chart this week.

Hawks drop opener to Flyers in Prague

PRAGUE—It was a successful home debut for Flyers coach Alain Vigneault – a long, long way from Philadelphia.Travis Konecny had two goals and Vigneault won his first game with his new team, directing the Flyers to a season-opening 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.Oskar Lindblom and Michael Raffl also scored for the Flyers in front of a sellout crowd of 17,463 at Prague’s O2 Arena as part of the NHL’s Global Series. Carter Hart stopped 28 shots.It was the first regular-season game outside of North America in Philadelphia’s 52-year history.

”I think tonight’s game, everybody was down there, everybody was consistent in what we were doing and it was a team win,” Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux said. ”It was a lot of fun.”

Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists for the Hawks, who opened the 2009-10 season in Finland. Alex Nylander and Alex DeBrincat also scored.

”I like the way we fought back,” said Kane, who had a career-high 110 points last season. ”Whatever the numbers were tonight, I still think I have more to give to the team.”

The Blackhawks are hoping to return to the playoffs after a two-year absence, but defensemen Dennis Gilbert and Slater Koekkoek each made a costly mistake after the blue liners struggled last year.Konecny turned Gilbert’s turnover into a 1-0 lead for Philadelphia 6:24 into the first, beating Corey Crawford on the glove side.Lindblom was credited with a power-play goal 6:28 into the second when his shot bounced off the crossbar and was deflected by Koekkoek into his own net. Konecny then converted a backhander with 1:56 left in the period, giving the Flyers a 3-1 lead.The Hawks played without defensemen Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy due to injuries.

”We turned way too many pucks over, that’s where we exposed ourselves defensively,” coach Jeremy Colliton,.

The Blackhawks pulled within one when DeBrincat one-timed a pass from Kane past Hart with 13 seconds left in the second. It was DeBrincat’s first goal since he signed a three-year contract extension worth $19.2 million.Raffl responded for Philadelphia in the third, skating around the net and sliding a backhand between Crawford’s pads for a 4-2 lead at 9:48.Kane scored with 2:07 remaining, but the Flyers held on.Crawford finished with 34 saves. Nylander scored in the first period in his first game since he was acquired in an offseason trade with Buffalo.The NHL returned to Europe for the third straight year as part of its efforts to grow the fan base in hockey-mad countries like the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland and others.It will be back in Europe next month when the Tampa Bay Lightning face the Sabres in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

NOTES—NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league is planning to play more regular-season games in Europe next year, but the details are still being finalized…..UP NEXT:The Blackhawks Host the San Jose Sharks in their home opener Thursday night.

Bears put on ‘Bloody Useless’ show in London

LONDON—All that pregame talk about Khalil Mack and the Monsters of the Midway defense only served as motivation for the Oakland Raiders.A dominant performance from the offensive line, a breakthrough game from a rookie running back and the ability to bounce back from a third-quarter meltdown made Oakland’s weeklong stay in London a success.Josh Jacobs scored his second touchdown of the game with a leap from the 2-yard line with 1:57 to play, capping a 97-yard drive that helped the Raiders rally after blowing a 17-point lead to beat the Bears 24-21 on Sunday night.

”We were up for the challenge,” Jacobs said. ”All week that’s all we heard was how good their defense was and they are a great defense. But we wanted to prove we’re a good offense.”

They did that with an impressive drive that was part of a roller-coaster game that delighted the sellout crowd in London. The Raiders (3-2) broke out to a 17-0 halftime lead only to fall behind the Bears (3-2) in a mistake-filled third quarter.Then Oakland fumbled at the goal line when going in for the go-ahead score, needed a replay review to overturn a fumble on a successful fake punt on the game-winning drive and then intercepted Chase Daniel with 1:14 to go to seal the victory.

”We know everyone counted us out,” quarterback Derek Carr said. ”We knew no one would pick us to win this football game. And we hadn’t really proven anything for them to pick us, right? But it just shows you the grit and determination of our young guys.”

It sure didn’t come easy but the Raiders earned a satisfying victory in its first game against the Bears since dealing star edge rusher Khalil Mack before last season.That trade has come under heavy scrutiny as Mack led the Bears to the playoffs last year while the Raiders struggled. But Oakland came out ahead this day with Mack’s only big play coming when he recovered a fumble after Jacobs went the wrong way on a pitch that sparked the Bears third-quarter comeback.The Bears turned that turnover into a 1-yard run by David Montgomery and got two TD passes from Daniel to Allen Robinson in the third quarter to take a 21-17 lead.It looked as if it wouldn’t be Oakland’s day when Sherrick McManis punched the ball loose from Trevor Davis at the goal line and Prince Amukamara recovered at the 1.A brilliant top-tapping sideline catch by Robinson and a roughing the passer penalty on Maurice Hurst that angered the Raiders and overturned an interception by Daryl Worley helped the Bears move the ball off the goal line.The Bears pinned Oakland to the 3 with the punt before the Raiders responded with their longest game-winning drive in the fourth quarter in at least 20 years, aided by Erik Harris’ 3-yard run on a fake punt after the Bears committed a running into the punter penalty on fourth-and-6.Carr completed a 23-yard pass to Foster Moreau on third-and-1 to get the ball deep and Jacobs finished it off as part of a big night from the player acquired with one of the draft picks Oakland got for Mack. Jacobs ran 123 yards and two scores against a defense that hadn’t allowed 100 yards rushing to a single team all season.

”We punched them in the mouth and they didn’t like it,” guard Richie Incognito said. ”They were talking a bunch of trash that first drive. We came out that first drive, then punched them in the mouth and all that talk stopped.”

The Bears on the other hand managed only 42 yards on 17 carries for the game as Oakland controlled both lines of scrimmage.

”In this game, it usually starts up front, and know that,” coach Matt Nagy said. ”We preach it. We talk it. We understand that, and we just throughout the game weren’t real successful offensively with running the football. It’s been an issue this year, and so we need to figure out why.”

Mack got most of his pass rush attempts against second-year left tackle Kolton Miller. Miller had a rough rookie year but is playing much better in year two and managed to keep Carr clean most of the night thanks to some help from his tight ends and back and a quick-passing game.The lack of a pass rush had been a recurring issue in Oakland ever since the Mack trade. The Raiders came into the game with a league-low 18 sacks since the start of 2018 but had three alone in the first half as Daniel held onto the ball too long. Maxx Crosby, Benson Mayowa and Maurice Hurst all came up with sacks, the first time Oakland had three in the opening half since Mack’s final season with the team in 2017. Hurst added another on the final play of the game.Bears DT Akiem Hicks (elbow) left the game in the first half and didn’t return.Jacobs left the game briefly with an elbow injury but returned.The Bears get a week off following the long trip and will host New Orleans on Oct. 20.

Bears shut down Vikes, Trubisky hurts shoulder.

//fanatics.frgimages.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productimages/_3469000/altimages/ff_3469586-195b1270c634627076f5alt1_full.jpg&w=325

Chase Daniel came through in relief after Mitchell Trubisky got knocked out of the game on the opening possession, and a banged-up defense dominated again for the Bears.It all added up to a victory that ranked among coach Matt Nagy’s favorites, even if it came with a price.Daniel threw for 195 yards and a touchdown after Trubisky exited with a left shoulder injury, and the Bears swarmed NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook in a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.The defending NFC North champions avoided an 0-2 start at Soldier Field and another home loss to a division rival to go with the one they suffered against Green Bay in the NFL’s 100th season opener.

”It’s definitely for sure top three, top four for me,” Nagy said. ”It’s a division game at home against a really good football team. That’s number one. Here we are four games into the season, and you start out 0-1 and there’s a little bit of `what’s going on.’ And our guys, they just stick together.”

Things weren’t looking so good for the Bears (3-1) when Trubisky went down in the opening minutes.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, he was scrambling on the sixth play from scrimmage when Danielle Hunter dragged him down. The quarterback’s non-throwing arm got pinned awkwardly under his body as the ball popped out. Minnesota made the recovery, but a holding penalty against Anthony Harris negated the play.Trubisky headed to the sideline and walked to the locker room a few minutes later. Nagy said he wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury.Daniel came on and connected with Tarik Cohen on a 10-yard touchdown to complete a 14-play drive. The 10th-year pro completed 22 of 30 passes.Allen Robinson had seven catches for 77 yards. Nick Williams had two sacks . Khalil Mack and Roy Robertson-Harris each had 1 1/2.The Bears (3-1) held Cook to 35 yards on 14 attempts after he ran for at least 110 in the first three games, even though Akiem Hicks (knee) and linebacker Roquan Smith (personal reasons) missed the game. The Monsters of the Midway also held a big edge in time of possession (35:27 to 24:33) on the way to their third straight win.

”You can talk all day but these guys stepped up and did what they’re supposed to do, man,” Mack said. ”Like I said, guys were stepping in big. Big Roy, Big Nick, guys were doing their job and we were able to get it done.”

Cook, who came in with 375 yards rushing, spoiled the Bears’ bid for their first shutout since 2010 when he ran it in from the 2 in the closing minutes.Kirk Cousins was 27 of 36 for 233 yards and got sacked six times as the Vikings (2-2) lost in Chicago on the road for the 16th time in 19 games.

”They are good, everybody knows they are good,” Cook said. ”It’s one of the best defenses in the league, but it was more about us than them, so we just have to do better on our part.”

The Bears took a big step toward the NFC North championship last season when they beat Minnesota at Soldier Field. They then kept the Vikings out of the playoffs with a road win to close the regular season while sweeping them for the first time since 2011.And they got a win they sorely needed on Sunday if they’re going to defend their division championship. The Bears outgained the Vikings 182 yards to 59 in the first half and held them to just two possessions.EARLY EDGE

The Bears took a 10-0 lead to the locker room after Eddy Pineiro’s 25-yard field goal at the end of the first half. They had to settle for another field goal after Mack sacked Cousins on the first play from scrimmage of the second half. took over at the Minnesota 16 after Williams made the recovery, and Pineiro’s 38-yarder made it 13-0. He added a 30-yard field goal with just over three minutes left in the third.

”You really never know when your opportunity is going to come at any position but we had so many guys step up on such short notice,” Daniel said. ”I mean, we had some Pro Bowlers out. You know? Your starting quarterback goes down. One of your best D linemen goes down, Akiem Hicks. Roquan. … I think it also says a lot about our coaching staff and how they’re able to get guys ready at moment’s notice.”

G Kyle Long missed the game because of a hip injury. He did not practice Thursday or Friday. … G Ted Larsen (knee) and LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring) left the game

Das ist gut! Hawks beat Esparen Berlin 3-1 in last Pre Season Game.

BERLIN – The Blackhawks wrapped up the 2019 preseason with a 3-1 win over Eisbaren Berlin on Sunday evening from Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany. At the end of a back-and-forth opening frame, Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks up in the final minute of the period with a bit of skill. Patrick Kane found his certerman with a no-look feed from behind the goal, with Toews finishing the chance top shelf in in the near corner from the bottom of the circle. Corey Crawford‘s night was finished at the 11:00 mark of the second, a scheduled split with newcomer Robin Lehner. Eisbaren Berlin found the equalizer just over three minutes later as Marcel Nobels founr Sean Backman from behind the net and the forward fired a quick shot past Lehner from point-blank range.

Alexander Nylander continued the trend of in-tight tallies at 10:12 of the third, corraling a loose puck at the side of the goal and roofing a shot top shelf past as sprawled-out Maximikian Franzreb for a 2-1 lead.David Kampf sealed the 3-1 win with an empty netter from inside his own blue line at 18:40 of the third. The Blackhawks depart for Prague, Czech Republic on Monday afternoon, where they will open the 2019-20 season against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday at 1 p.m. CT. 

NU hangs with Wisconsin, but Badgers prevail

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

MADISON—Jonathan Taylor ran for 119 yards and his 11th touchdown of the season, Wisconsin got two scores from its defense, and the eighth-ranked Badgers remained unbeaten with a 24-15 win over Northwestern on Saturday.Taylor carried 26 times to help Wisconsin (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) avenge its 31-17 loss to the Wildcats last season. The junior reached 100 yards rushing for the 26th time in 31 career games and moved into fourth place on the Badgers’ career rushing list (4,730).After allowing 81 yards rushing through the first three games, the Wisconsin defense surrendered 97 yards on the ground to Northwestern (1-3, 0-2).The Badgers’ defense sacked backup quarterback Aidan Smith once and starter Hunter Johnson three times, including one by safety Eric Burrell that caused a fumble by Johnson in the end zone. Matt Henningsen recovered to make it 14-3 in the third quarter for Wisconsin. Noah Burks added the other after intercepting Smith and returning it 68 yards down the Wisconsin sideline.Johnson went 10-for-21 and Smith completed 8 of 19 passes and had a late 15-yard touchdown to JJ Jefferson. Drake Anderson had 16 carries for 69 yards and a 4-yard score for the defending Big Ten West champion Wildcats, who dropped their second straight game conference game.Charlie Kuhbander added a 29-yard field goal for Northwestern.Chris Orr had two sacks and Collin Wilder added another for a Badgers’ defense that is allowing just 7.3 points per game through the first four contests.Defensively, the Wildcats, like last season, made it hard for the Wisconsin offense. But a loose offensive line and a lack of production at the quarterback position will continue to haunt the Wildcats’ offense.Wisconsin: Jack Coan won his sixth straight start, but needed the Badgers’ defense to have a big day to overcome a lackluster day. The defense responded, as Coan finished 15-for-21 with 113 yards and an interception by Northwestern defensive back JR Pace.With one of the top running backs in the history of college football and a stout defense, No. 8 Wisconsin continues to prove it is one of the top teams in the country and deserves to be on the short list of teams that can seriously contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

NIU gives Vandy a battle,but falls short.

NASHVILLE—Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for 138 yards and one touchdown, Riley Neal threw for 189 yards and a touchdown and Vanderbilt defeated Northern Illinois 24-18.The victory was the first of the season for the Commodores (1-3), who dropped their first three games to Power Five teams, two of which came against Top Five ranked opponents No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 LSU.After winning their season opening game, Northern Illinois (1-3) has dropped three straight, all against Power Five teams.Vanderbilt’s Keyon Brooks and Vaughn scored rushing touchdowns on the first two Vanderbilt drives of the game.On Vanderbilt’s opening drive, Brooks broke loose for a 61-yard touchdown run, the freshman’s first of the season. He had only one more carry of the game. Entering Saturday, Brooks had just eight carries for a total of seven yards in two games this season.The Huskies pulled to within four in the third quarter after posting points on their first two drives of the second half. John Richardson kicked a 39-yard field goal to get Northern Illinois on the scoreboard, and then Mitchell Brinkman had a 38-yard touchdown reception. But Vanderbilt answered right back 1:49 later when Neal found Kalija Lipscomb with a 38-yard touchdown pass.Vanderbilt improved its record to 8-2 against Mid-American Conference opponents, including 4-0 against Northern Illinois.Neal is a graduate transfer from Ball State. His Cardinals teams never defeated MAC foe Northern Illinois.Early in the fourth, the Huskies cut the deficit to six following a one-yard touchdown run by Marcus Jones and a two-point conversion reception by Brinkman, but the Commodore defense denied the Huskies on their final drive, and the Vanderbilt offense was able to run out the remaining three minutes to seal the victory.NIU After not allowing a 100-yard rusher in 17-straight games, the Huskies allowed an opponent to eclipse the century mark for the second consecutive game. Vanderbilt’s Vaughn rushed for 138 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. In Northern Illinois last game Sept. 14, Nebraska’s Dedrick Mills ran for 116 yards on 11 carries.Vanderbilt: In their three losses to open the season, the Commodores allowed an average of 46 points to Georgia, Purdue and LSU. After not allowing any points in the first half, Northern Illinois recorded a field goal and a touchdown on their first two possessions of the second half. The Commodores allowed the Huskies to convert just four of 13 third down opportunities in the game.