Sutton Smith, who came in leading the FBS with 20 tackles for losses this season, had two Thursday to set the Northern Illinois single-season record. The Huskies (7-3, 5-1 Mid-American Conference) finished with a school-record 18 TFLs (the most in an FBS game this season), including a season-high-tying seven sacks.
Childers threw touchdown passes to Shane Wimann and Jordan Huff before Trayshon Foster blocked a punt which Jackson Abresch returned 13 yards for a score to make it 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. Jauan Wesley blocked another Ball State (2-8, 0-6) punt, from inside its own end zone, and Abresch covered it to cap the scoring with 4:18 to play. The Huskies have blocked four punts in their last three games.
Northern Illinois has won nine in a row against the Cardinals.
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Former Alabama assistant coach Billy Napier will be coming back to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Duke dodged trouble in the short term when its starting quarterback went down.
The No. 18 Texas Longhorns travel to Kansas State Saturday with one thing on their minds: change. That idea sounds pretty good to Kansas State right now as well.
The schedule forces Michigan State to take a step back this week. If the Spartans want to remain in the rankings, they can't afford to take an even bigger step back.
South Carolina will be the next team to see if it can stop or at least slow Kentucky running back Benny Snell when the Gamecocks and Wildcats clash Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
Florida coach Dan Mullen understands he may get less than a welcoming reception when the Gators visit No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday.