2013 Discover Orange Bowl
No. 15 Northern Illinois (12-1) vs. No. 12 Florida State (11-2)
Jan. 1, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)
ESPN from Miami, Fla., Sun Life Stadium (72,230)
NIU’s Top Ten Tidbits:
• Northern Illinois becomes the first Mid-American Conference team to play in the Bowl Championship Series when the No. 15 Huskies meet Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Florida State in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl.
• NIU is ranked No. 16 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Polls, the program’s highest rank since 2003, when Northern Illinois entered the BCS Rankings at No. 10 on October 19 after defeating Maryland, Alabama and Iowa State.
• Northern Illinois is tied with Notre Dame and Ohio State for the longest winning streak in the nation at 12 games, which is also the longest win-streak in school history and the most wins ever in a season by a Huskie team; NIU is the only NCAA FBS team to win 21 of its last 22 games.
• On Nov. 30, NIU defeated No. 17 (BCS) Kent State, 44-37, in double overtime at Detroit’s Ford Field to win its second consecutive MAC Championship.
• Northern Illinois owns the longest conference winning streak (17 games) and the longest home winning streak (21 games) in the nation.
• On the same day NIU earned its bid to the 2013 DIscover Orange Bowl, Rod Carey was introduced as the Huskies’ 22nd head football coach after serving as offensive coordinator over the past 12 games and as offensive line coach for the past two seasons.
• NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch is the most productive dual-threat player in the nation with 2,962 passing, 1,771 rushing yards and 43 TDs (responsible for). He ranks third in the country in total offense, fourth in rushing and 25th in passing efficiency.
• Lynch has set four NCAA records this year and needs 38 passing yards to become the first player in FBS history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,500 in a season.
• Over the last 10 years, NIU is the winningest program in the Mid-American Conference (90-50, 64.3%) and has more wins, and a better overall record, than Notre Dame, Northwestern or Illinois.
• The Huskies are one play away from a 13-0 record as Iowa scored its lone touchdown of the season-opener on a 23-yard run on third-and-nine with 2:15 to play, giving the Hawkeyes a 18-17 victory over NIU at Soldier Field.
Northern Illinois is one of six NCAA FBS teams that have posted three consecutive seasons with 10-or-more victories. Only two teams - NIU and Oregon - have won 11-or-more games every year since 2012.
MEET ME IN MIAMI:
Northern Illinois closes out a season for the ages on Jan. 1, 2013 when the Huskies take on Florida State in the 2013 DIscover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
HUSKIES EARN HISTORIC BID:
Northern Illinois made history when it became the first Mid-American Conference team to earn a place in the Bowl Championship Series. After winning 12 consecutive games to close out the season, including a victory over No. 17 Kent State in the MAC Championship game, NIU was ranked 16th in the final regular season USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive polls. The Huskies’ computer rankings pushed them into a No. 15 spot in the BCS rankings, ahead of the champions of both the Big Ten and Big East conferences. Those circumstances and BCS protocol guaranteed Northern Illinois a history-making spot in the Discover Orange Bowl.
After waiting 28 years to win its second Mid-American Conference title in 2011, the Huskies wasted no time earning MAC Championship No. 3 with a 44-37 victory in double overtime over No. 17 and 11-1 Kent State on Nov. 30, 2012 at Ford Field in Detroit. NIU became the first MAC team to repeat as league champs since Central MIchigan in 2006 and 2007. The Huskies won their first MAC title in 1983 under head coach Bill Mallory.
Named NIU’s 22nd head football coach just hours before the Huskies learned they would play in the Discover Orange Bowl, Rod Carey will make his head coaching debut in the Discover Orange Bowl. Carey has spent the last two seasons on the Northern Illinois offensive staff under Dave Doeren, who was named the head coach at North Carolina State University on Dec. 1. After serving as offensive line coach in 2011, the Wisconsin native added duties as NIU’s run-game coordinator prior to the season. When new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar stepped away to battle cancer following the Iowa game on Sept. 1, Carey took over as offensive coordinator.
BETTER BY THE DOZEN:
Northern Illinois’ 12 wins in 2012 broke the school record for most wins in a season, which was set by the 2010 and 2011 NIU teams. The Huskies’ 12-game winning streak is the longest in school history. Northern Illinois won 11 games (over multiple seasons) in 1943-45, 1963-64, and 1964-66.
Northern Illinois’ 2012 seniors will leave DeKalb as the winningest class in school history. The 2012 seniors have 41 wins and a spectacular 41-13 (.759) overall record since 2009. The 2012 seniors replaced their 2011 counterparts (35 wins) as the school’s winningest group. Of the 15 seniors on the 2012 team, 11 are starters
The Northern Illinois defense has held five teams below 300 yards of total offense in 2012, a mark achieved only twice a year ago. Even with two overtime periods, Kent State managed just 260 yards of total offense on 79 plays in the MAC title game, while Eastern Michigan gained 227 yards in the regular season finale to join UMass (267 yards), Akron (199) and Iowa (268) on the sub-300 list. The Huskies have held five teams below 100 rushing yards and seven have thrown for less than 200 yards. Only four defensive players (DEs Alan Baxter and Sean Progar, NG Nabal Jefferson and DB Demetrius Stone) have started every game in 2012 with Stone starting at two different positions.
With 160 yards on a career-high 36 carries in the MAC Championship game, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch broke the NCAA FBS record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season that was held by Michigan’s Denard Robinson (2010). Prior to the bowl games, Lynch led all NCAA FBS players in rushing yards with 1,771, on 271 carries, and his career yards per carry average of 6.86 ranks first among active players. Lynch has more than doubled the NCAA record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback (previously five games) as his streak now stands at 11. Lynch has run for 100-plus yards in 12`of the Huskies’ 13 games this season. He needs just 38 passing yards to become the first player to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,500 in a single season.
No quarterback in the country can out-do Jordan Lynch when it comes to consistent excellence as BOTH a passer and a runner. Through the air, Lynch ranks 25th in the country and leads the MAC in passing efficiency with a 152.98 mark. He has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 2,962 yards. Most impressively, he has thrown 24 touchdown passes and just five interceptions on the season. On the ground, Lynch is having one of the best seasons by any PLAYER in the country as he currently ranks fourth in the nation with 136.23 rushing yards per game. It adds up to a No. 3 ranking in total offense (364.1 yards/game) and more production out of the quarterback position than any single player.