MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – When Jordan Lynch tucked the ball in and ran, he was surrounded by Florida State defenders. When he dropped back, he had no time.
The Northern Illinois quarterback and the Huskies’ offense had trouble getting anything going Tuesday night in the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. That struggle was a major factor in a 31-10 loss to Florida State.
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.
His protection was key late in the second quarter, when he 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 to give 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 left
The Seminoles all but put the game away with a 9-yard touchdown run by Manuel with 14:56 left in the game. Lonnie Pryor added a 37-yard TD run, his second score 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 that made it a 17-10 game. A 35-yard run by Desroy Maxwell on a fake punt led to the Sims kick.
The fake, 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 execute a quick kick, and the punt landed at the Florida State 5-yard line.
Also, Paris Logan recovered an onside kick for the Huskies after Moore’s touchdown.
Unfortunately, the stops Carey pulled weren’t enough against the bigger, faster Seminoles.