Orange Bowl Head 2 Head: Part 2
Position Breakdowns -
Florida State — The Seminoles’ career-leader in completion percentage (66.8 percent), E.J. Manuel is looking to become just the second quarterback to win four consecutive bowl games. With a 24-6 record as a starter, the redshirt senior guided the Seminoles to their first ACC title and BCS appearance since 2005. Manuel passed for 3,101 yards and 22 touchdowns this season — including 284 rushing yards. Currently seventh in FSU’s single season passing record, Manuel could move into second place if he throws for 217 yards against Northern Illinois on Jan. 1.
Northern Illinois — Considered one of the top dual-threat quarterback in the country, Jordan Lynch ranks third in the nation in total offense with 2,962 passing yards, 1,771 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns. He is the first quarterback in FBS history to rush for the most yards in a single season (1,771 yards) and set the NCAA record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with 11. Lynch is 38 passing yards away from becoming the first player to amass 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing in the same season in NCAA FBS history. Lynch was named to the Associated Press second team All-America squad as an all-purpose player.
Florida State — Although the Seminoles lost senior running back Chris Thompson for the season to a torn ACL injury, sophomores Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. have picked up the load in the backfield. They have combined for 1,213 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Freeman needs 58 yards to pass Thompson for the lead in rushing this season. Wilder was named the ACC Championship Game MVP after rushing for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
Northern Illinois — The Huskies run-game is ranked ninth in the nation (250.2 yards per game). In addition to Jordan Lynch, junior running backs Leighto Settle and Akeem Daniels have combined to rush for 885 yards and 14 touchdowns on 166 attempts. In the Mid-American Championship Game, Daniels rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Florida State — Jimbo Fisher is 30-10 in three seasons as the head coach at Florida State. This season he has guided the Seminoles to their first ACC title and BCS appearance since 2005. In 2010, he won the most games (10) by a first-year coach in FSU history. Fisher put together back-to-back top five recruiting classes in 2011 and 2012.
Northern Illinois — After spending the past two seasons as an assistant, Rod Carey became the Huskies' 22nd head coach in program history on Dec. 2. Under Carey's tutelage, NIU's offense ranked 15th in the nation in total offense (485.8 yards per game). In 2011, he served as the Huskies offensive line coach. . Carey will make his coaching debut on Jan. 1 when the Huskies face Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl.
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