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Updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 10:22 PM EST
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Bowling Green 28, Northwestern 24
Northwestern Wildcats
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DETROIT (Ticker) -- Two years later, Josh Harris provided more fourth-quarter heroics against Northwestern.

Harris tossed three touchdown passes in the second half, including a three-yarder to Cole Magner with 4:06 remaining, as Bowling Green rallied from a pair of 10-point deficits to defeat Northwestern, 28-24, in the Motor City Bowl.

"We had a lot of respect for Northwestern," Harris said. "They did some things that we saw on film and it took us some time to adjust. Northwestern's not a blitz team but they got some push from their linebackers."

Harris first made a name for himself against Northwestern in late November 2001, accounting for 498 yards of total offense in a 43-42 victory.

He capped his career with another spectacular effort against the Wildcats (6-7), completing 38-of-51 passes for 384 yards and also rushing for a TD.

"That's the competitor that Josh is," said Magner, who finished with 12 receptions for 96 and two TDs. "He wants the ball in his hands when the game's on the line and there's a play to be made."

The late score to Magner, who also caught a seven-yard TD pass in the third quarter, added to Northwestern's postseason frustration as the Wildcats remained winless in bowl play since 1949.

"There's nothing to be ashamed of," Northwestern coach Randy Walker said. "We just fell a little short at the end."

Northwestern relied on the power running of James Wright, who rushed for 237 yards on 21 carries, including a 77-yard TD scamper that gave the Wildcats a 17-7 lead in the first minute of the third quarter. It was Wright's second straight 200-yard game as he ran for a career-high 251 yards in the regular-season finale against Illinois.

"At halftime of the Houston-Hawaii game yesterday (Trev Alberts) called me slow," Wright said. "That's why the 77 yards means a lot to me. I wanted to show how fast I was."

But Wright committed a crucial fumble with the Wildcats looking to increase a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter as he coughed up the ball at Bowling Green 11 following a 33-yard gain.

Harris' 11-yard TD pass to Steve Sanders put the Falcons (11-3) ahead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining, but Wright redeemed himself with an 88-yard kickoff. That set up Noah Herron's one-yard TD that put Northwestern ahead for the final time, 24-21.

Bowling Green, which won its first bowl game since the 1992 Las Vegas Bowl, answered again as Harris engineered a 12-play, 67-yard drive.

"I felt that whoever made the last play would win this game," Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon said. "I think my coordinators went through a bottle of Tylenol tonight. Every call in this game was crucial."

Bowling Green sputtered in the first half, committing three turnovers, including two interceptions in the red zone. After Northwestern opened a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, Harris' four-yard TD run got the Falcons on the board midway through the period.

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