MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – When Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch tucked the ball in and ran, he had Florida State defenders everywhere around him.
When he dropped back, he had no time. Lynch and Huskies' offense had trouble getting anything going Tuesday night in the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. It was certainly one of the main factors which cost NIU in 31-10 loss to Florida State on Tuesday.
While Lynch couldn't find anywhere to go for the Huskies (12-2), Florida State (12-2) quarterback E.J. Manuel often seemed to have all the time in the world.
Manuel's protection was huge late in the second quarter, when he dropped back, scrambled and found wide receiver Rashad Greene in the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left. Greene barely got a foot in bounds, and the play gave the Seminoles a 14-3 lead.
Florida State added three points in the third quarter when Dustin Hopkins kicked a 25-yard field goal with 11:48 remaining, and put the game away with a touchdown run of 9 yards by Manuel with 14:56 left in the game and a Lonnie Pryor 37-yard TD run, his second touchdown of the game, with 10:33 remaining.
NIU got its points on a 25-yard field goal From Mathew Sims in the first quarter, and an 11-yard TD pass from Lynch to Martel Moore in the third. A 35-yard run by Desroy Maxwell on a fake punt led to the Sims kick.
The fake punt call, which happened on a fourth-and-3 from the Huskies' 32-yard line, wasn't Huskies head coach Rod Carey's only mode of trickery. He also had Lynch attempt a quick kick, and the punt landed at the Florida State 5-yard line. Then there was the onside kick after Moore's touchdown, which was recovered by Paris Logan.
Unfortunately, the stops Carey pulled weren't enough against the bigger, faster Seminoles.
The Huskies were held to 259 total yards for the game, and Lynch finished 15 for 41 passing for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also had 23 carries for 44 yards, averaging 1.9 yards a carry.
The Seminoles had 534 total yards including and averaged 6.6 yards a carry against the Huskies defense. The Florida State rushing attack was led by Pryor, who needed only five carries to gain 134 yards and score two touchdowns, including a 60-yard run in the first quarter that put the Seminoles on the board first.