DeKALB, Ill. -- — Aveon Smith threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Mac Hippenhammer and added two TD runs about 4 minutes apart that gave Miami (Ohio) the lead for good just before halftime as the Redhawks beat Northern Illinois 29-23 in the snow Wednesday night.
Smith completed 11 of 23 passes for 180 yards and ran for 105 yards on 20 carries for Miami (5-6, 3-4 Mid-American Conference).
John Richardson kicked a 31-yard field goal and Nevan Cremascoli threw a 15-yard TD pass to Liam Soraghan that gave Northern Illinois (3-8, 2-5) a 10-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter. The Redhawks ensuing drive stalled at midfield and Dom Dzioban's 47-yard punt pinned NIU at its own 3 and two plays later Harrison Waylee fumbled the ball and kicked it out of the end zone for a touchback that got Miami on the scoreboard less than 3 minutes later.
Smith had four carries for 28 yards — including a 10-yard TD run — and went 1-for-1 passing for 13 yards on a six-play, 49-yard drive that made it 10-9 with 4:39 left in the second quarter and, after the Huskies went three-and-out, Tom Foley's punt was blocked and went just 17 yards, giving Miami the ball at its own 49 and six plays later Smitch scored on a 15-yard run to make it 16-10 at halftime.
Cremascoli threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Kacper Rutkiewicz to put Northern Illinois back in front just 96 seconds into the second half but Graham Nicholson kicked a 44-yard field goal 5 minutes later and Hippenhammer's TD catch with 48 seconds left in the third quarter made it 26-17.
Antario Brown raced untouched for and 86-yard score 42 seconds later to trim the Huskies' deficit to 26-23 and Nicholson capped the scoring with a 24-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.