2013 Discover Orange Bowl Preview & Prediction; BCS NCAA College Football Pick

Discover Orange Bowl – Northern Illinois Vs. Florida State January 1, 2013
The 12-1 Northern Illinois Huskies have a chance to be just one of a few non BCS schools to win a BCS bowl game. The Huskies will face off against the 11-2 Florida State Seminoles from the ACC. This article will provide a preview of each team going into the Orange Bowl and a prediction.

Northern Illinois Huskies
The Northern Illinois Huskies had an incredible season that propelled them into their first ever BCS Bowl appearance. The Huskies’ lone loss this season came at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes the first week of the season via an 18-17 loss. They have put up impressive statistics on both sides of the ball, but due to the fact that they play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), they will not receive the respect they deserve.

The Huskies are 9th in the nation in rushing yards per game. Junior Jordan Lynch leads the nation in rushing with 1,771 yards and has 19 rushing touchdown. The most impressive part of Jordan Lynch leading the nation in rushing is that he is the Huskies’ quarterback. Unlike many quarterbacks who are great runners, Lynch has no problem in the passing game. With a quarterback rating of 153.0, he has nearly 3,000 yards passing with 24 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. The Iowa Hawkeyes were able to disrupt Lynch in the Huskies only loss of the season. If Lynch is effective with the pass and run, Northern Illinois is a hard team to beat.

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Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles were considered National Championship contenders coming into the 2012 college football season. The Seminoles suffered an upset loss to NC State on October 6th, and then lost a close game to rival Florida. A win over Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game guaranteed Florida State an Orange Bowl berth.

Florida State has a dominant defense that has had only a couple of bad games. They have held their opponents to an average of 15.1 points per game, good for 7th in the nation. On five occasions this season they have held their opponent to seven points or less. There has been only one game all season in which the Seminoles have given up over 30 points.

The FSU offense has scored an average of 39.9 points a game and ranks 43rd in the nation in passing yards, and 25th in rushing. Quarterback EJ Manuel has been solid over the course of the season, but has struggled in his last four games throwing 6 interceptions and 6 touchdowns. Manuel has managed games well and has come through when needed. The defense is the star of the team and should be counted on to produce a BCS victory for Florida State.

Game Overview
Florida State has the better team while Northern Illinois has the best player in this game with Jordan Lynch. The Seminoles defense will not be able to completely stop Lynch, but they will contain him enough to end up on top. Florida State wins this game, but it should be close.

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Prediction: Florida State Seminoles 31, Northern Illinois Huskies 24

All statistics are from ESPN via ESPN.com