Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Northern Illinois hung tough for three quarters in the 2013 Orange Bowl.
For three quarters, the Northern Illinois Huskies held tough with the Florida St. Seminoles. The fourth quarter was not as kind to NIU, though, and the Seminoles took advantage. In the end, FSU came away with a big 31-10 win to claim the 2013 Orange Bowl title.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Jordan Lynch connected with Martel Moore on an 11-yard touchdown strike to make the score 17-10 in Florida State's favor. NIU's defense came up with a couple of big stops in the following minutes, but they would eventually break in the fourth.
Quarterback E.J. Manuel went untouched from nine yards out to give the Seminoles a 24-10 lead on the first play of the final quarter, and then Lonnie Pryor put the icing on the cake with a long touchdown run five minutes later. The Huskies were unable to score late to keep themselves in the game.
Lynch had a game to forget against one of the nation's top defenses. He completed just 15 of his 41 pass attempts for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception. As a team, Northern Illinois carried the ball 32 times for just 83 yards.
NIU finishes the season with a 12-2 mark. While they may be disappointed in the final outcome, they held tough against the ACC conference champions. It was a magical season, and one they will look to build from in the offseason.