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Colleges

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MAC championship preview

No. 18 Kent State vs. No. 19 N. Illinois

Records: Kent State 11-1; Northern Illinois 11-1

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Ford Field, Detroit

TV: ESPN2

Line: Northern Illinois by 6

Series record: Northern Illinois leads 16-7

What’s at stake: How about a spot in the Orange Bowl? As crazy as it sounds, the winner of this game could end up in a BCS bowl if it can crack the top 16 of the BCS rankings. Right now Kent State is at No. 17 and Northern Illinois is at No. 21.

Key matchup: Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch against Kent State’s defense. Lynch does everything for the Huskies on offense. He’s thrown for 23 touchdowns and run for 16, and the Golden Flashes will have to keep him under control.

Kent State players to watch: RBs Dri Archer and Trayion Durham. Archer has rushed for 1,337 yards, Durham for 1,176. Each has 14 touchdowns, and their success allows quarterback Spencer Keith to be more of a facilitator. Archer also excels as a kick returner.

Northern Illinois player to watch: WR Martel Moore is Lynch’s top target. He has 67 catches for 1,015 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

– Associated Press

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