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2013 Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois Gets Scurvied

Florida State hammered Northern Illinois 31-10 in the MAC's first taste of the BCS bowl.

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Coda

How are we going to remember Florida State's 31-10 win over Northern Illinois? Depending on your love of sound bytes, it may differ.

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Execution, mistakes, luck all added up

Florida State won the game using their size, speed and strength, but the Huskies certainly helped close the door on themselves with missed passes, big penalties and one iffy fumble.

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Three quarters down

After a touchdown pass to Martel Moore, a ballsy onside kick by Tyler Wedel, recovered by Paris Logan, served as another watershed moment of this game, but after moving the ball a little bit, Jordan Lynch scrambled and threw an interception. Carumba.

A personal foul by Jamaal Bass later in the quarter didn't help much either. They can't change how big and fast they are, but they can limit their mistakes, and the third quarter just didn't help at all.

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3rd and 15

Florida State was held to a mere field goal, a spiritual and schematic win for NIU, as the lead was only 17-3 and not 21-3. (They're actually lucky it isn't 28-0, but still.)

On the following kickoff a stupid personal foul, a false start and a couple of bad passes put the Huskies into a desolate 3rd and 15 situation. The play that turned things around was a streaking Akeem Daniels down the sideline, with Lynch finding him for a 55-yard pass. That certainly saved the game. It also opened up Lynch for a 22-yard scramble, and then finding Martel Moore on the underneath route, who redeemed himself after a couple of miscues to bring the score into 17-10.

Game on, dudes.

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How to deflate a team

An incredible one-foot-down catch by Rashad Greene in the end zone gave Florida State a 14-3 practically as the first half was expiring.

This has been a brutal game so far. Florida State has put maximum security on Jordan Lynch and his longest run is of five yards. He's gotten a couple passes but so far the offensive is lacking in rhythm and both offensive and defensive lines are barely holding their own.

Florida State has made mistakes. But that last touchdown really deflated the team. It at least deflated me. The Seminoles get the ball back in the second half, giving that defense plenty of time to rest. They've had to defense 42 plays so far.

It feels over, but it's not. Let's see what they do in the second half.

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FAAAAAAAAAKE

Desroy Maxwell entered the game with no stats. Zero stats. He played in 11 games and started two of them. But it takes a true freshman tight end, sometimes, to make a big play in the Orange Bowl. Maxwell ran a fake punt for 35 yards to turn a potentially sad drive into points. A swing pass to Tommylee Lewis moved them to a first and goal, but no dice going further as Mathew Sims gave them a 25-yarder. FSU leads 7-3.

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A fullback just ran for a 60-yard TD

His name is Lonnie Pryor, and I'm going to hope they test him for jet fuel after this, because I don't think fullbacks are supposed to run like that. But FSU had great blocking and Pryor scooted through everybody to give the Seminoles a 7-0 lead.

That's ... well, I thought they were going to score 7-0 on the last drive, so at least it's not 14-0.

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The first break; a fumble

NIU started out with a great opening drive, accented by a personal foul on Florida State. But a three-and-out forced NIU to punt. The Seminoles' opening drive was brutal and merciless, moving the ball well. No huge plays but it was methodically demoralizing. And then a fumble happened. Rashaan Melvin got his helmet on the ball on a 3rd and 1 reception, jarring it loose and recovering the ball.

But they couldn't capitalize. NIU was stuffed and on a 4th and 1, they had Jordan Lynch punt it away.

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Northern Illinois has already won

A special installment of "I Got A Bad Feeling About This, Chapter 6 of 7."

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