Northern Illinois is one of the best teams in the country at running the ball, and Florida State is one of the best in the country at stopping the run. The Huskies will hope their strength wins out in their first-ever Orange Bowl.
Northern Illinois will try to win by attacking Florida State's strength in their Orange Bowl matchup as the Huskies boast one of the nation's best running attacks and the Seminoles one of the best rushing defenses.
Led by junior quarterback Jordan Lynch, the Huskies averaged 250.2 yards per game on the ground, the ninth-most in the country. However, that includes option teams that run the ball almost exclusively. When looking at average yards per rush play, NIU is fourth, gaining 5.6 per run, and in touchdowns, they're second with 44.
On the other hand, Florida State has a stout defense: ACC coaches named four Seminole defenders to the all-ACC first team, and an additional three to the second team. They were best against the run, allowing only 2.76 yards per carry and 92.62 yards per game on the ground - good for fourth and fifth in the country, respectively.
It'll be a battle of styles: Lynch is also a skilled passer, throwing for 24 touchdowns against only five picks, but he's turned heads this year for his ability running with the ball. Lynch has already set a college record for quarterback running with the bowl game still to come. Unfortunately, Jimbo Fisher's squad is just as good at defending the pass, leading the nation in yards per passing attempt.