The Dream is Over For the NIU Huskies

Florida State is now 2-5 in BCS bowl games.

This morning the sad reality has set in for the Northern Illinois Huskies. Last night, the Huskies fell to the Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Florida State Seminoles 31-10 in the Orange Bowl.

The first quarter was a defensive battle between both teams. FSU only managed to score one touchdown in the opening frame. NIU pressed the Seminoles offense and pushed them against the wall.

In the second quarter the ‘Noles would push back and would eventually back the Huskies into a wall of their own. Northern Illinois could only muster a field goal in the first half.

Florida State led 14-3 at halftime, and they would score three more times in the second half. The Huskies only touchdown of the night was a Jordan Lynch touchdown pass to Martell Moore. The two main reasons for NIU’s downfall are simply because of defense.

The Huskies defense could not stop FSU’s running game, the Seminoles ran for 243 yards. 134 of those yards belonged to running back Lonnie Pryor.

Even though the NIU offensive line managed to contain the FSU defensive line, the Huskies were powerless to stop the Seminole linebackers.

Florida State’s linebacking corp held Northern Illinois to just 83 yards on the ground. Credit must also be given to Florida State’s secondary.

They covered Martell Moore and the rest of NIU’s receivers like a blanket, resulting in just 15 completions on 41 pass attempts for Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch.

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Eventually Lynch found himself trying to move the ball on his own. This is exactly what Florida State had wanted. They forced the dual-threat quarterback from Mount Carmel High School to try to beat them on his own and it worked to their advantage.

At the end of the night the Huskies defense was worn down from being on the field for so long. They allowed the Seminoles to gain 534 total offensive yards to accompany those 31 points.

When it was all said and done, everyone who said NIU did not belong in the BCS found themselves vindicated. Could this mean that future Mid-American Conference champions will not get invited into the Bowl Championship Series down the line?

Only time will tell. But despite the loss, the Huskies should still be proud of themselves. This was a program that lost 40 consecutive games in the 90’s.

This was a program that was almost demoted to the FCS {Division 1-AA}. This was also a program that had so much difficulty recruiting against the other football programs in the state.

Now the NIU program is officially on the map. They have proven that the Mid-American Conference is the real deal and should not be taken lightly.

2013 may have started off on a sour note for Northern Illinois University, but I feel that this is just the beginning of an even brighter future.


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