Coastal Carolina holds off Northern Illinois in Cure Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Grayson McCall threw four touchdown passes and Coastal Carolina held off Northern Illinois 47-41 in the Cure Bowl on Friday night, with the game ending with the Huskies at the Chanticleers 4.

McCall was 22 for 30 for 315 yards, and Braydon Bennett ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns on six carries to help Coastal Carolina (11-1) win 11 games for the second consecutive year. Bennett also caught four passes for 47 yards and a TD.

Jay Ducker ran for 146 yards on 24 carries, and Antario Brown added 105 yards and 12 attempts for Northern Illinois (9-5). Rocky Lombardi completed 20 of 33 passes for 181 yards and two scores.

Northern Illinois (516) and Coastal Carolina (514) combined for 1,030 yards. Northern Illinois picked up 335 yards on the ground.

After Northern Illinois wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 run at the Huskies 34, McCall threw a shovel pass from the option to Bennett for a TD on the next play. He then connected with Isaiah Likely on a two-point conversion to make it 47-41 with 6:40 left.

Northern Illinois got the ball back at its own 13 with 2 1/2 minutes to play. Lombardi hit Miles Joiner for a 4-yard gain on fourth down to the Coastal Carolina 4 with 2 seconds remaining, but the Huskies couldn’t off another play.

Likely’s second touchdown reception got Coastal Carolina within two at 41-39 with nine minutes left, but McCall’s threw an incomplete pass on the two-point try.



NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Freshman Nick Vattiato threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, the last a 59-yard scoring pass to Jarrin Pierce with 6:24 left, and Middle Tennessee beat Toledo 31-24 on Friday in the Bahamas Bowl.

Two plays after Toledo’s 32-yard punt, Vattiato connected with a wide-open Pierce along the right side for a 28-17 lead. The 59-yard play was the longest completion in Middle Tennessee’s bowl history.

On Toledo’s next possession, Dequan Finn was pressured by Jordan Ferguson and defensive lineman Zaylin Wood intercepted a tipped pass, leading to a 35-yard field goal for a 31-17 lead.

Toledo got within seven points with 1:08 remaining, but Thomas Cluckey recovered an onside kick to secure it.

Pierce caught four passes for 114 yards for Middle Tennessee (7-6). Wood’s interception was Middle Tennessee’s 17th of the season, extending its national lead in turnovers gained to 32.

Finn threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns for Toledo (7-6). Matt Landers set a Bahamas Bowl record with a 90-yard touchdown catch to put Toledo ahead 14-7.

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