SHREVEPORT, La. Antrel Rolle returned an interception and a punt for touchdowns and Frank Gore ran for 118 yards as No. 3 Miami had an easy go of it in its opener, beating Louisiana Tech 48-9 Thursday night.
The game marked the starting debut of Miami's new big three on offense quarterback Brock Berlin, Gore and wide receiver Ryan Moore.
The trio performed well, but has a long way to go to keep Hurricanes fans from missing Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee and Andre Johnson.
Making his Miami debut in his hometown, Berlin was OK in a little less than three quarters of work. The Florida transfer was 14-for-28 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Gore, who missed all of last season after major knee surgery, showed good burst and power on 21 carries and caught two passes for 33 yards.
As for Moore, who is expected to fill Johnson's spot as the big-play receiver, the redshirt freshman caught four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. He also had two drops.
Sheldon caught Haldi's pass at the 15, spun around a defender and raced into the end zone for the game-winning score.
The Huskies sealed the game when Scott McBrien's long pass into the end zone bounced off the leg of defensive back Rob Lee, fluttered into the air and fell into the hands of Randee Drew of Northern Illinois.
After some confusion, Northern Illinois players rushed onto the field to celebrate the school's third win ever over a ranked team.
Northern Illinois had a chance to win the game in regulation but Steve Azar's 43-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by Madieu Williams with 1.3 seconds left.
The attempt was set up by a roughing the passer call on D'Qwell Jackson, one of several costly penalties against the Terrapins.
Trailing 13-10 in the fourth quarter, Northern Illinois reeled off an 18-play, 84-yard drive that ate up 7:58 and tied the game.
Running back Michael Turner, held in check for most of the game, had 37 yards on eight carries during the drive. Haldi completed a 24-yard pass to Keith Perry to set up Azar's 25-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining. That drive also was prolonged by two Maryland penalties, including a late hit on Andrew Smith that negated a Maryland sack deep in Northern Illinois territory.
Maryland took a 13-10 lead when Domonique Foxworth picked off Haldi at the Huskies' 47 to set up a 50-yard field goal by Nick Novak with 9:10 remaining. Sheldon appeared to slip and fall on the play, clearing the way for Foxworth's diving interception.
Only, Maryland couldn't hold on.
Haldi was 21-for-35 for 266 yards and two TDs. Northern Illinois receiver P.J. Fleck had 12 receptions for 113 yards, and Turner finished with 90 yards rushing on 30 carries.
Maryland scored on its opening drive behind the running of Allen, who got the start for injured running back Bruce Perry.
After a short punt by the Huskies, McBrien found Jafar Willimas for gains of 7 and 11 yards. A roughing the passer penalty put Maryland on the Northern Illinois 16, and Allen did the rest.
The sophomore ran the ball four straight times, capping the 58-yard drive with a 1-yard TD plunge for a 7-0 lead.
However, a miscue by Allen helped Northern Illinois put points on the board and swung momentum in the Huskies' favor.
Stretching for extra yards, Allen fumbled at the Maryland 39 and Northern Illinois recovered. The Huskies but gained just 4 yards in three plays, but it was just enough for Azar who kicked a 52-yard field goal a career long.
The Huskies took the lead with 7:15 remaining in the half on two big plays by Haldi and Turner.
A scrambling Haldi ducked under a Maryland defender in the backfield and hit Fleck for a 35-yard gain. Haldi dumped the ball off to Turner, who ran up the sideline before cutting back across the field for a 41-yard gain to the Terrapins' 5.
Fleck made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a 5-yard TD, narrowly dragging his left foot on the turf before falling out of bounds to give the Huskies a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Terrapins tied it at 10 on the opening drive of the second half on a 46-yard field goal by Novak.
McBrien was 12-for-24 for 110 yards and one interception.
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