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No. 13 FSU beats No. 16 NIU 31-10 in Orange Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2013 at 3:39 am •  Published: January 2, 2013
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"We knew that they were going to play us tough," Fisher said. "But our kids, it's another step in which we handled the big platform, and I'm very proud of them."

Pryor scored the first touchdown on a career-long 60-yard run, then ran 37 yards for a clinching touchdown with 10 minutes left. They were the two longest rushes allowed by Northern Illinois all season.

Manuel went 26 for 38, threw for one score and ran for another. Florida State totaled 534 yards and broke the school record for yards in a season with 6,591.

The Huskies were widely derided as unworthy of a BCS bowl berth, and didn't do enough to silence the doubters. Trick plays in the kicking game helped keep them close until the fourth quarter, but when it came to Lynch, not much fooled a Florida State defense ranked second in the nation.

"Definitely the best defense we played all year," Lynch said. "They were always in the right spot at the right time, it seemed like. They were hungry out there."

Lynch came into the game leading the nation in rushing and total offense, and he threw or ran on nearly every play for the Huskies. But he completed only 15 of 41 attempts for 176 yards, and carried 23 times for 44 yards.

The junior became the first player in NCAA history to surpass 3,000 yards passing and 1,500 rushing in a season.

After the Huskies' lone touchdown cut their deficit to 17-10 in the third quarter, they recovered an onside kick, and Lynch moved them to the Florida State 23. But he was flushed from the pocket on third down and threw an ill-advised pass that Terrence Brooks intercepted.

"It probably wasn't the smartest thing to force the ball there," Lynch said.

The loss came in Rod Carey's debut as the Huskies' coach. He was promoted to replace Dave Doeren, who took the North Carolina State job after the regular season.

"I'm upset," Carey said. "Florida State is a well-oiled machine. They beat us, no doubt. That doesn't change the fact I don't like to lose."