Jan. 2, 2013
2013 Discover Orange Bowl Notes
Career Night For Lonnie
Not only did Lonnie Pryor break off a career-long 60 yard TD in the first half of the Orange Bowl, which was the second longest TD run in FSU bowl history, but that wasn’t all the senior did. In his final game as a Seminole, Pryor set a new career high in rushing yards. He set a personal best with a 31 yard scamper at the start of the second half to put him at 93 yards for the game. His previous best was a 65 yard performance versus USF earlier this year. Pryor put an exclamation point on his night in the fourth quarter as he went 37 yards for his second TD of the night. Pryor had three of the four longest runs of his four-year career in tonight’s game.
That Makes Five
With Lonnie Pryor’s 37-yard, fourth quarter TD run, the senior fullback went over 100 yards for the first time in his career. Pryor is the fifth different Seminole to rush for 100 yards or more this season. He joins Chris Thompson, EJ Manuel, Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.
Finally Got It
He waited a while to set the all-time NCAA record for career field goals but Dustin Hopkins hit number 88 early in the second half to become the NCAA’s all-time field goal king. Hopkins was tied with Billy Bennett from Georgia who set the record from 2000-03. Hopkins went seven quarters without a field goal as he waited to set the record.
J.J. Watt is getting a lot of focus in the NFL for his effectiveness at batting down balls at the line of scrimmage. Bjoern Werner is having the same effect at the collegiate level. The dominating end knocked down his 8th pass of the season, which is the second most in the FBS by a defensive lineman.
Late in the third quarter the momentum seemed to be turning in NIU’s favor. A Northern Illinois TD cut the FSU lead to 17-10 and then an onside kick put the Huskies back in business. Jordan Lynch was moving NIU down the field until Terrance Brooks stepped in. The junior hauled in his second interception of the season and the third of his career. It was a bit of déjà vu for Brooks who picked off Notre Dame in the end zone in last year’s Champs Sports Bowl to seal that win for the Noles.
Most Prolific Ever
The 2012 FSU offense will now go down in history as the most productive ever following tonight’s Discover Orange Bowl. In the fourth quarter the Seminoles surpassed the 2000 team for the most yards ever surpassing that squad’s 6,588 with 6,591. It was the sixth game with over 500 yards of total offense this season for the Seminoles.
D Does It Again
The Florida State defense has been phenomenal all year and especially against the run. Nothing changed in tonight’s game as NIU mustered just 83 yards rushing. It was the first time all season the Huskies had been held below 100 yards on the ground. Leading rusher Jordan Lynch was held to just 44 yards, which was 92 yards below his per game average in 2013. It is the 16th time in the last 34 games FSU has held the opposing team’s top rusher below 50 yards.
Final Record Watch
EJ Manuel finished the season with 3,392 passing yards, the second-most in a season at FSU…Manuel is third in FSU history for career passing yards…Manuel is third in career completions at FSU…Rashad Greene is in sole possession of 20th place for career receptions after just two seasons.
300 In The First
Florida State racked up 338 yards of offense in the first half versus Northern Illinois. It marked the fifth time in 14 games this year that FSU broke the 300 yard mark in the first half. The other times were Savannah State (391), Wake Forest (357), BC (343) and Clemson (311).
Never Happened Pryor To That
Lonnie Pryor staked FSU to a 6-0 lead on a career-long 60 yard TD run. The senior fullback had never had a run longer than 49 yards coming into tonight’s Discover Orange Bowl. The TD moved Pryor into 10th place for rushing scores with 17 in his career. It was the second-longest TD run ever by an FSU player in a bowl game. Leon Washington holds the record with a 69 yard TD run in the 2005 Gator Bowl.
Going Far And Fast
The first scoring drive in tonight’s Discover Orange Bowl covered 95 yards following an NIU quick kick that pinned FSU back at its five yard line. FSU wasted no time covering the length of the field to score a TD on Pryor’s 60 yard TD run. The scoring drive took just 1:11 off the clock. It was the third time this year FSU has scored on a drive longer than 90 yards and all three took less than 1:45. Versus Wake Forest, FSU needed 2 plays and just 0:31 to cap a 95 yard drive. Against BC, FSU drove 99 yards for a TD in just 1:44.
Smith Streaks To Record
Senior wide receiver Rodney Smith didn’t wait long to set a new FSU record. With his first quarter reception, Smith secured a catch in his 39th straight game breaking the FSU record set by E.G. Green from 1994-97.
Rashad Greene is continuing his late season tear. With his TD reception to close out the first half tonight, Greene has caught five TDs in the last six games. During that stretch he leads all Seminoles with 56 catches as well.
Running To Stand Still
The Seminole defense came into tonight’s game facing the nation’s ninth-best rush offense. FSU meanwhile entered the night with the fifth-best rush defense in the NCAA. So far, it’s the Noles defense getting the better of this key matchup. Take away the one NIU rush for 35 yards on a fake punt and the Huskies have rushed 13 times for 24 yards, less than two yards per carry.
Two of the musical acts playing a key role in tonight’s Discover Orange Bowl have major Florida State ties. Halftime act Jake Owen was a walk-on at FSU with the golf team before an injury ended his golfing career. His twin brother played tennis at FSU. Outside the stadium tonight Florida Georgia Line performed and former Seminole baseball player Brian Kelley is part of the duo that make up the top selling country act.
Tonight’s FSU Captains
Florida State named permanent captains following the 2012 regular season. The permanent captains are EJ Manuel, Lonnie Pryor, Dustin Hopkins and Vince Williams and all but Manuel were present for the coin toss tonight (which FSU won).