The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 31-10 in the Orange Bowl last night, and although the game was not a complete beat down, it was evident who the far superior team was. The Seminoles never really looked in danger of losing the contest and it took a fake punt and an onside kick for the Huskies just to keep it respectable for a while.
Quarterback Jordan Lynch led an explosive Northern Illinois offense that was averaging 485 yards per game in 2012. Lynch himself threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 1,800 this season. However, the Huskies never faced a defense that even came close to Florida State’s.
The Seminoles defense made Lynch look very ordinary on New Year’s Day. In fact, the normally confident quarterback looked very hesitant and confused most of the evening. Lynch completed just 36% of his passes, which was a season low, and saw his 11-game streak of rushing for at least 100 yards come to an end with just 44 on the night. He also made a few uncharacteristic mistakes, including an interception by Terrence Brooks in the red-zone when it appeared Lynch could just have easily thrown the ball out of bounds.
To sum it up, Lynch was not impressive on the big stage and Florida State’s defense made sure everyone knew it. Linebacker Vince Williams, who had 10 tackles, was quite vocal in the locker room after the game about his feelings about the Northern Illinois pivot. Williams said Lynch was “terrible” and “not good at all”. He went on to say that comments Lynch had made leading up to the game gave the Seminoles some bulletin board material to use as motivation. In an interview with the Sporting News, Lynch said that Florida State hadn’t seen an offense like Northern Illinois’ and the Huskies planned to have them “on their knees” come the fourth quarter.
It appeared the more accurate statement would have been that the Huskies hadn’t seen a defense like the Seminoles all season. Florida State held Northern Illinois to under 300 yards of offense and they were the ninth team this season to meet that fate when facing the Seminoles. Jimbo Fisher’s team still has a shot to finish as the number one ranked defense in the country depending on how Alabama does in the National Title game on Monday.
Heading into the Orange Bowl many people were saying that Northern Illinois wasn’t getting enough credit, but perhaps it was Florida State’s defense that got overlooked.
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