Bouagnon scored from 16 yards out to give the Huskies the lead, 24-20 with 1:24 left in the third quarter, then added runs of 1- and 29-yards in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 38-23 with 8:10 left.
Blake Decker got UNLV on the board with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Devonte Boyd in the first quarter and fired a 41-yard scoring pass to Aaron Criswell with 5:26 left to cut the Huskies' lead to 38-30, but a drive for a chance to tie the game stalled at midfield.
Bouagnon carried 21 times for 152 yards for Northern Illinois and Drew Hare was 21 of 26 for 360 yards and two touchdowns.
Decker completed 21 of 39 attempts for 319 yards.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org