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Northern Illinois routs Eastern Michigan 50-6
Associated Press
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Published: 11/5/2009 10:23 PM | Updated: 11/5/2009 11:07 PM

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DEKALB -- Tommy Davis returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and Chad Spann ran for a career-high 174 yards and two scores to help Northern Illinois rout winless Eastern Michigan 50-6 on Thursday night.

The Huskies (6-3, 4-1 Mid-American) won their third straight games, scoring on five straight possessions to take a 37-6 halftime lead.

Northern Illinois piled up 537 yards in total offense. It last topped 50 points in a 59-38 win over Western Michigan in October 2004.

"You want to get momentum and as a coach you worry about that," said Huskies coach Jerry Kill, whose team became bowl eligible for the second straight year. "(But) I really didn't today. I saw the good focus in pregame and liked our energy before the game. The sideline was very into the game and we played with a lot of juice."

Spann had scoring runs of 65 and 79 yards in the first half, and DeMarcus Grady threw 30- and 31-yard touchdown passes to Landon Cox. Grady passed for 119 yards, ran for 104 and had a 5-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

Eastern Michigan (0-9, 0-5) twice drove inside the Northern Illinois 5 in the first quarter, but reached Huskies territory just once the rest of the way and had only 30 yards in the second half.

Dwayne Priest ran for 75 yards for the Eagles, who suffered their worst loss in a winless year and worst since a 55-0 defeat in 2005 at Michigan.

Freshman quarterback Alex Gillett was 2-of-12 passing for 49 yards and split time with Kyle McMahon, who wasn't much better going 3 of 10 for 33 yards.

"Execution hurt us a little bit," Eastern Michigan coach Ron English said. "We're playing some young receivers who dropped some balls. Our young quarterback (freshman Alex Gillett) hurries a little bit at times and he's not seeing the guys he needs to see and he's not doing the things he needs to do."