The 2013 Discover Orange Bowl will take place on New Years Day and we will see the Northern Illinois Huskies take on the Florida State Seminoles in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game is scheduled for an 8:30 PM (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Florida State favored by 14.5 points, while the total sits at 58.5. Check out Sportsbook Spy to find out what side the Public is taking on all today's games.
Free Analysis: Often times with success comes change, and Northern Illinois has had its share since the end of the season, as Dave Doeren has moved on to take over the head coaching job at NC State. In two seasons in DeKalb, Doeren led the Huskies to a 23-4 record and back-to-back MAC titles. The Huskies, behind a record-setting performance by their quarterback, took the nation by storm in 2012. Northern Illinois dropped its season opener against Iowa (18-17), but ran the table after that, with its 12th consecutive victory coming in the MAC Championship Game against Kent State (44-37). The Huskies are not a run-of-the-mill mid-major, as NIU ranked among the nation's most prolific offenses in 2012. The team averaged a hefty 40.8 ppg (ninth nationally) and moved the ball with equal effectiveness on the ground (250.2 ypg) and through the air (235.6 ypg). The top dual-threat QB in the country, Lynch completed 62.9 percent of his passes, for 2,962 yards and 24 touchdowns against just five interceptions. The 6-foot junior also finished fourth in the nation in rushing (1,771 yards), averaging 6.5 yards per carry with another 19 touchdowns. Lynch finished the season with a national-best 4,733 yards of total offense and was named a Second-Team All- American. Wideout Martel Moore certainly benefited from Lynch's monster season. The senior wideout led the team in all receiving categories, hauling in 71 balls, for 1,054 yards and 12 TDs, en route to All-MAC First-Team honors. Despite Lynch and the NIU offense garnering plenty of headlines, the Huskies were solid on the defensive side of the ball as well. Northern Illinois allowed just 19.0 ppg this year, while holding foes to just 356.7 yards of total offense (34th nationally). The team finished in the top-10 nationally in sacks (40) and TFLs (98).
Jimbo Fisher is in his third season at the helm of Florida State and this was supposed to be the year the team made a run at the national championship. It certainly looked good in the month of September, as the Seminoles won each of their first five games. However, with the start of October came a shocking 17-16 road loss at NC State. One of the most decorated postseason teams in the country, Florida State's bowl record is an impressive 25-14-2. The Seminoles are taking part in their 31st straight bowl season, the longest active streak in the country and second longest in NCAA history (Nebraska - 35). The 'Noles have won each of their last four bowl games, including an 18-14 decision over Notre Dame last year in the Champs Sports Bowl. Florida State is 3-5 in eight previous visits to the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles put up some gaudy offensive numbers as well in 2012. The team finished the season averaging just under 40 points per game (39.9), with great balance between the run and the pass. FSU put up over 200 yards rushing (203.0 ypg) and over 250 yards passing (262.9 ypg), to finish 23rd nationally in total offense. Manual was certainly a big part of the overall success, completing an impressive 67.9 percent of his passes, for 3,101 yards, with 22 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. A re-energized ground attack provided the balance needed to take the FSU offense to new heights. The backfield took a big hit with the loss of leading rusher Chris Thompson (687 yards, 5 TDs) to injury, but Devonta Freeman (630 yards, 8 TDs) and James Wilder Jr. (583 yards, 11 TDs) provided more than enough to assuage the loss. One of the nation's premier defenses resided in Tallahassee this season, as FSU finished up sixth nationally in scoring defense (15.1 ppg), fifth in rush defense (93.0 ypg), third in pass defense (160.8 ypg) and second in total defense (253.8 ypg). As a result of FSU's success on this side of the football, defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was heavily recruited and left to be the head coach at Kentucky.
Free Pick: Im gonna go with the Noles in this one. Florida State is clearly the better team here and they have been hearing how they usually tank a game every now and then and that this is the perfect spot for it. They do not want to lose this game and I feel they will come out very focused. The NIU has been excellent this year, but playing MAC defenses is far from playing this Noles defense that is 2nd overall, 3rd vs the pass and 6th in points allowed (15.1 ppg). On offense the Noles have put up 39.9 ppg and the NIU defense has struggled vs bowl team offenses, allowing 27 ppg vs them. This game is in Florida, which also gives the Noles an edge, plus NIU is playing without HC Dave Doren, who has left to coach at NC State. The Noles have all the edges are will be motivated for this game. They should win by 17+ here.
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