As ACC Champions, Florida State earned an automatic invite to the Orange Bowl.
Two conference champions, No. 12 Florida State and No. 15 Northern Illinois, will meet in the 79th Discover Orange Bowl on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., it was announced today by Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Northern Illinois is among the hottest teams in the country, riding a 12 game winning streak which is tied for the longest active winning streak in the nation (Notre Dame and Ohio State are the others). The Huskies are one of three teams to have won their conference outright the last two years (Wisconsin and Arkansas State are the others). Florida State finished the regular season ranked second in total defense and seventh in scoring defense, and has held opponents to under 10 points five times this season. Northern Illinois ranks ninth in scoring offense and rushing offense.
No. 12 Florida State (11-2, 7-1 ACC) earned the ACC’s automatic berth in the Discover Orange Bowl by virtue of its 21-15 victory over Georgia Tech in the eighth annual Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Running back James Wilder, Jr. earned MVP honors as he rushed 10 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive backs Xavier Rhodes and Karlos Williams each picked off a Georgia Tech pass as the Seminoles earned their second ACC Championship Game victory. Florida State is making its ninth Orange Bowl appearance (1980, ’81, ’93, ’94, ’96, ’01, ’04, ’06) and its first since the 2006 Classic. The Seminoles have a 3-5 record in their previous Orange Bowl games, including a national championship victory in the 1994 Orange Bowl.
No. 15 Northern Illinois (12-1, 8-0 MAC) is making its first BCS bowl game appearance and its first appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Huskies outlasted Kent State 44-37 in double overtime in the MAC Championship Game. Quarterback Jordan Lynch led the way against Kent State, as he threw for 212 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Lynch leads the nation in total yards (4,733) and ranks third in total yards per game (364.08) behind Baylor’s Nick Florence and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools and the first ever BCS bowl game for a member of the Mid-American Conference. It is also the first ever bowl meeting between the ACC and MAC.
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