Northern Illinois falls to FSU, 31-10 in Orange
MIAMI (AP) — Northern Illinois started the night as a BCS-buster.
The Huskies went home a BCS bust.
A dismal first half put Northern Illinois in a hole, and two second-half turnovers proved costly as No. 13 Florida State topped the 16th-ranked Huskies 31-10 in the Orange Bowl on Tuesday night — hardly the ending that the Mid-American Conference champions were seeking in their first trip to the Bowl Championship Series.
"They are a well-coached, well-oiled machine," said Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey, who was making his debut as the Huskies' sideline boss after taking over when former coach Dave Doeren left last month for North Carolina State. "And they beat us, no doubt. That doesn't change the fact I don't like to lose."
The final numbers were far from pretty for the Huskies (12-2), whose 12-game winning streak was snapped after they were outgained 534-259. They converted five of their 18 third-down opportunities and were on the wrong end of a 23-17 disparity in first downs.
And standout quarterback Jordan Lynch, who finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting, struggled for long stretches. His streak of 11 consecutive 100-yard rushing games ended, after he managed only 44 yards on 23 carries. He completed 15 of 41 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown — one that got the Huskies within 17-10 early in the third quarter.
It was the last Huskie hurrah.
"We had a great season this year," Lynch said. "None of this was even possible. No one was even thinking about this, a MAC school making a BCS bowl. I still want to say that we made our school proud and we made the MAC conference proud."
After a successfully executed onside kick, Lynch had Northern Illinois headed toward the end zone on the ensuing possession. But Lynch tried forcing a pass down the right sideline and was intercepted by Terrence Brooks inside the Seminoles' 20 to thwart that drive. And after Da'Ron Brown fumbled the ball away early in the fourth, Lonnie Pryor had his second long touchdown run of the game to all but seal the win for Florida State (12-2).
EJ Manuel completed 26 of 38 passes for 291 yards in his farewell for Florida State, which won 12 games for the first time since the Seminoles' unbeaten 1999 season. Pryor ran for 130 yards on only four carries — with touchdown runs of 60 and 37 yards, both of which were longer than any carry Northern Illinois yielded all season.
The Huskies ran 73 plays, and Lynch either threw a pass or carried the ball on 64 of them. But after coming into the Orange Bowl with an average of just over 367 yards of total offense per game, Lynch just kept getting hit — and hit — by a defensive front that enjoyed a massive size advantage over the MAC champions, who lost for just the second time in 23 games.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 14352Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 12637Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 11750OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 10003Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 8992Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 7499Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 7296Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated