DEKALB, Illinois (Ticker) -- Scooter McDougle and Lance Moore helped Toledo continue its dominance of Mid-American Conference rival Northern Illinois.
McDougle rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns and Moore recorded his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game as the Rockets made it 11 straight wins over the 22nd-ranked Huskies, 31-17.
Toledo (7-3, 6-1 MAC West) rallied from a 10-0 deficit and prevented Nothern Illinois from clinching a spot in its first MAC championship game. With the win, the Rockets own the tiebreaker edge and need only to beat Bowling Green on November 23 to return to the MAC title contest for the third time in four years.
Nothern Illinois (7-3, 6-1) lost tiebreakers to Toledo in 2001 and 2002.
The Huskies took advantage of a short punt and later an interception to grab a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, but Toledo dominated thereafter and wore down Nothern Illinois in the second half.
The Rockets blanked the Huskies over the final 30 minutes, outgaining them, 297-19. Bruce Gradkowski completed 28-of-37 passes for 297 yards for Toledo, which put together four scoring drives of at least 70 yards.
The Huskies were weakened by the absence of Garrett Wolfe, the MAC's leading rusher who missed the game with an eye injury unrelated to football. Josh Haldi completed just 10-of-22 passes for 95 yards for the Huskies.
A leaping 40-yard grab by Moore, Toledo's all-time leading receiver, set up McDougle's go-ahead 10-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
With Toledo facing a 2nd-and-4 at midfield, Gradkowski's pass to Moore was underthrown. But Moore, who caught five passes for 102 yards, reached over the shoulder of cornerback Adriel Hansbro to give the Rockets and 1st-and-goal at the 10.
McDougle scored on the next play, giving the Rockets a 24-17 lead with 66 seconds left in the third.
Freshman Jalen Parmele also rushed for two TDS for Toledo, including a four-yard scamper that made it 31-17 with 9:26 remaining.
Moore caused more problems for the Huskies on the clinching drive, grabbing a 32-yard reception for a first down at the 16. Then, with Toledo facing a 3rd-and-19 from the 25, Moore beat Hansbro, who pulled him down, resulting in an interference penalty and another 1st-and-goal at the 10.
The Rockets closed within 17-14 on McDougle's three-yard TD run with 4:41 left in the first half, then pulled even on Jason Robbins' 25-yard field with 6:17 to go in the third.