At halftime on Friday night, No. 24 Northern Illinois clings to a 14-13 lead over Miami of Ohio. Most didn't expect the unranked RedHawks to mount such stiff competition, but they only trail by virtue of the woes of their kicking game.
The first half ended rather comically. With seconds remaining in the second quarter, Miami quarterback Austin Boucher found Chris Givens near the sideline of Northern Illinois' 25-yard line. It appeared as though Givens made his way out of bounds, but the officials apparently ruled that he was stopped by forward progress, which kept the clock running. Upon realizing this, Boucher and company hustled to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball.
Problem: it was a fourth down, and it generally isn't a good idea to spike the ball on a fourth down. Second problem: Miami didn't need to spike the ball, because they had a time out. Solution: wide receiver Armand Robinson, apparently the only RedHawk to understand what was happening, quickly called a time-out himself just before the ball was spiked.
Unfortunately, the resultant field goal was blocked, and Miami entered the locker room trailing 14-13. Earlier in the game, kicker Trevor Cook missed a PAT.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, neither team scored in the second. Miami is set to receive the ball to open the second half. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates.