Orange (Miami, Fla.): No. 12 Florida State (11-2) v. No. 16 Northern Illinois (12-1), Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
Why To Watch: Well, it’s the last ACC football of the season, and FSU is prone to making games that aren’t supposed to be interesting – interesting.
Who To Watch (Huskies): QB Jordan Lynch – Quarterback Jordan Lynch enters No. 4 in the nation in rushing (1,771 yards/136.2 YPG), and also in the top-25 in pass efficiency (152.9) with almost 3,000 yards passing and 43 total touchdowns.
Stat Advantage for FSU: Passing defense v. Northern Illinois’ pass attack – Lynch is a solid passer, with a middle-of-the-road 60th-best pass offense, but faces the No. 3 pass ‘D’ in the ‘Noles (160.8 YPG).
Stat Advantage for Northern Illinois: Turnover margin – NIU ranks in the top-30, while FSU is 96th.
What Happens: FSU is nearly a two-touchdown favorite, and the Seminoles’ senior class is going for a fourth-straight bowl win. NIU has been impressive, reeling off 12-straight wins, at almost 24 points per in scoring margin, and the trip to sunny south Florida is their fifth-straight bowl. If the ‘Noles are focused, they should pull away, but the Huskies aren’t going to lay down easily.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – FSU 31-20; Griffin Wong – FSU 31-14; J.J. Greenstein – FSU 31-21; W. Gustin Vandiford – FSU 44-17.