2013 Discover Orange Bowl Recap
NIU found pay dirt in the 3rd quarter to narrow the margin 17-10 but the Noles stromed back and answered in the 4th.
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — EJ Manuel and Lonnie Pryor each scored a fourth quarter touchdown to lift Florida State 31-10 over Northern Illinois in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl Tuesday night.
Pryor rushed for a career-best 134 yards on five carries with two touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. The senior went out in style, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time in his career. The Seminoles (12-2) rushed for 243 yards.
"We came out here and stuck with our regular stuff," Pryor said post-game. "I always wanted to win MVP of a bowl game and I told myself every time I get the ball just try to make a big play and just do something. I was blessed today. I can't believe it."
After The Huskies (12-2) cut Florida State’s lead to 17-10 in the third quarter, a pair of FSU turnovers seized the momentum for the Seminoles. FSU linebacker Terrance Brooks intercepted Jordan Lynch’s pass that led to an EJ Manuel nine-yard touchdown run. On NIU’s next possession, Xavier Rhodes forced a fumble that he recovered. Pryor scored three plays later on 37-yard run to clinch the game.
Manuel passed for 291 yards on 26 of 38 passing with a touchdown. He completed 68 percent of his attempts and finished his illustrious career with a 25-6 record. He is the second quarterback to capture four consecutive bowl victories. Manuel finishes as FSU’s career-leader in completion percentage.
“EJ is the epitome of what you want in a player, a leader, in a person, in a student,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He represents what’s right about everything…I don’t know what else the guy can do and all he does is sit and smile and represent this organization with the most class and dignity that I’ve been around.”
NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch entered the Orange Bowl having passed for 2,962 yards and rushing for 1,771. Lynch averaged 364.1 yards of total offense per game. He finished the night rushing for 44 yards and completing 15 of 41 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Northern Illinois’ high-flying offense was held in check for most of the night. FSU held the Huskies to 259 yards.
Florida State scored first on the team’s second series of the game when Pryor raced to the end zone for a 60-yard score. After a Northern Illinois field goal, Manuel connected with Rashad Greene right before halftime to give the Seminoles a 14-3 lead.
FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins converted a 25-yard field goal early in the third quarter to set the all-time NCAA record for career field goals with 88.
The Seminoles won their first BCS bowl game since the 1999 season and fifth consecutive bowl game overall.
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