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Northern Illinois Makes Orange Bowl, Set To Play Florida State

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In a bit of shocking news, Northern Illinois is going to be playing with the big boys in their bowl. It appears that the school has been chosen to play in the Orange Bowl, where they will take on Florida State.

This is a bit of a shock, but the team played amazing this year.  The only loss they suffered came in the first game of the year and if they had to replay that game, they would probably win going away.  Jordan Lynch simply had an incredible season and now people get to see him play on the national stage.  That is big for the program going forward.

Think about how this will impact recruiting.  They are getting BCS exposure, which can only help the team.  Recruits will want to come play at the school if they have this record.  It really does not matter how they play in the game, it is the fact that they actually were picked to play in it.

I honestly think they are going to give FSU quite a game.  Some people may dismiss it but it should be a very good game.  I can not wait to see Lynch and company go up against a very good defense.  This will get a lot of attention and with good reason.  The little guy crashed the party once again.  Hopefully they prove that they are for real.

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Northern Illinois Huskies Need Offensive Bounceback in Poinsettia Bowl

The Northern Illinois Huskies were one win away from making their second straight trip the BCS in 2013 before running into a brick wall in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons in the MAC Championship game. Bowling Green’s top-ten defense contained the high-powered offensive attack of NIU and upset the Huskies to keep them from busting the BCS yet again. Northern Illinois will have to find a way to bounce back offensively in a hurry, however, as they face another tough defensive challenge in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against the Utah State Aggies.

The MAC title game was the first time all season long that NIU failed to score at least 30 points in a game. Combined with a rough day on defense, the Huskies faced a lopsided upset loss at the hands of the Falcons thanks to their physical defense which were able to keep Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch somewhat contained and even forced a pair of interceptions out of the offensive leader of the Huskies’ attack.

They will need to figure out what went wrong in a hurry, though, as Utah State brings a similarly stingy defense to the Poinsettia Bowl. The Aggies rank No. 12 nationally in total defense this season and No. 10 against the run. They have a physical defensive front that helped turn around Utah State’s season after a rough 3-3 start to 2013 that ended up in the Moutain West Conference Championship game in their very first year in the conference.

NIU will be challenged by the Aggies when they square off. If they stumble in the same way they did against Bowling Green, Lynch will leave the Huskies with a disappointing and unsatisfying finale to his collegiate career. Can the Huskies fix what failed them in the MAC title game and come out ahead against Utah State?

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Bowling Green Falcons: QB Matt Johnson Outduels NIU’s Jordan Lynch For Upset Victory

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