Seminoles batter memory of controversial comments out of Lynch

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Seminoles batter memory of controversial comments out of Lynch

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Jordan Lynch talked smack, then he got smacked.

The Northern Illinois quarterback said before the Orange Bowl that Florida State hadn't seen anything like Northern Illinois' offense. It turns out that NIU hadn't seen anything like FSU's defense.

SN: Lynch on FSU defense

Lynch was forced to eat his words at 2013 Orange Bowl, as Florida State batted him around the field in a 31-10 nationally-televised onslaught.

The entire game, it was obvious that the Huskies couldn't match the size, speed or talent of the Seminoles. At every position there was a mismatch, but the kid from the south side of Chicago's spread-offense sorcery was supposed to be the equalizer.

Instead, he was NIU's worst enemy.

Lynch was held to less than 2 yards per rush and a 36 percent completion rating against the vindictive FSU defense.

RELATED: Despite Orange Bowl defeat, NIU takes a step toward its goal

It was one of the worst quarterbacking performances in BCS history, and according to FSU defensive end Bjoern Werner, all the Seminoles had to do to induce it was play normally.

"The media made him look like he's the next superstar quarterback," Werner said, in reference to last week's Sporting News article where Lynch, among his other comments, said that the NIU offense planned to have FSU "on their knees" in the fourth quarter.

Instead it was Lynch that was on his knees, catching his breath after yet another jaw-rattling hit.

Lynch knew that the Seminoles defense was good, but he admitted that the speed of a defensive line that has a second-stringer who is projected as a first-round NFL Draft pick caught him and his teammates off guard.

When Lynch was asked after the game about his comments, NIU head coach Rod Carey seized the microphone and fielded the question:

"Those were taken out of context, OK?" a surly Carey said. "That's not right. He didn't say that, and I want to say I've been waiting until after the game to say that. That was taken out of context and everybody made a big deal out of it. I was there. I was at the interview. He did not make the comments."

When Lynch was allowed to answer for himself in the locker room, he was doing the same song and dance.

"They switched up my words," Lynch said. "I'm a well-respected kid...I don't see why I would come out talking trash to a Top 5 defense."

Forget, for a moment, that Lynch and Carey stood behind the quarterback's comments the day after the Sporting News article they appeared in was published. Pretend, if you will, that he was taken out of context.

It didn't matter, because Florida State didn't care if the quotes were true or not. While the Seminoles offense was apathetic through three quarters of play at the Orange Bowl, the defense was out for retribution.

"He gave us motive," FSU linebacker Telvin Smith said. "He came out before the game and said that we were going to be on our knees in the fourth quarter. We are a tough defense. We play hard and that's one thing we take pride in."

Anytime a Seminole found a clear path to Lynch, they took it. The hits knocked Lynch out of his rhythm. The highlight of the quarterback's first quarter was his 52-yard punt.

Lynch had his moments, sure. An 88-yard drive to score the Huskies' only touchdown featured a beautifully-feathered 55-yard pass to Akeem Daniels along the right sideline. Lynch found his swagger on the drive, and after the Huskies recovered a perfectly executed surprise onside kick, NIU looked poised to tie the game at 17-17.

But the confidence was fleeting and Lynch's inability to recognize that cost him and his team. The Huskies moved down to the FSU 23-yard line following the onside kick, and Lynch's pass attempt hit FSU safety Terrence Brooks between the numbers.

The Huskies never regained momentum, and FSU didn't look back, as their offense finished off the game and the defense found continued catharsis in tackling No. 6.

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

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AP

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

DePaul hoops received a huge boost this week as five-star recruit Tyger Campbell committed to the university.

The elite point guard recruit out of La Lumiere, will join the Class of 2018, choosing DePaul over schools like Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy.

"Mainly what I like about the school is I want to help bring it back. I love Chicago; it's a great city. I want to bring the city a college back to cheer for."

Campbell also said the Blue Demons' new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place Event Center, which is slated to open this fall, is a big draw for him.

The Blue Demons are a combined 18-45 the last two seasons and hasven't had a winning season since 2006-07 when they went 20-14 and made the NIT Quarterfinals.

The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04 during Leitao's first stint as the team's head coach.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.