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.

Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

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Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

The Missouri Valley Conference returns to CSN with live college hoops action on Wednesday night.

Looking to make a push for the NCAA tournament, Illinois State hosts Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. live on CSN. Then at 7 p.m. on CSN+, Loyola will host Drake in another Valley contest.

The Redbirds (23-5, 15-1) have won four straight games as they are co-leaders of the conference with Wichita State. Senior Deontae Hawkins leads Illinois State in scoring at 14.6 points per game.

Southern Illinois (15-14, 8-8) won on the road at Indiana State to snap a three-game losing streak as they're hoping for a better result after losing to Illinois State at home by seven earlier this season. Senior point guard Mike Rodriguez leads the Salukis in points and assists at 13.0 points and 4.1 assists per game.

In the second game, Loyola is trying to make a move up the conference standings as they host Drake.

The Ramblers (17-12, 7-9) lost to the Bulldogs on the road earlier this season as they enter this one having lost five of six games. Loyola is led by senior Milton Doyle as he leads the Ramblers in points and assists at 15.6 points and 4.3 assists per contest. 

Drake (7-21, 5-11) has lost seven straight games but they did get the best of the Ramblers in that 102-98 thriller earlier this season. The Bulldogs do have a talented junior in Reed Timmer as he's putting up 15.6 points per game.

Both of these games are important for Missouri Valley Conference tournament seeding purposes as Arch Madness begins on Thursday, March 2.

You can catch Thursday and Friday's MVC Tournament action live on CSN on March 2 and March 3.

Tuesday on CSN+: UIC hosts Green Bay

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Tuesday on CSN+: UIC hosts Green Bay

College hoops returns to CSN on Tuesday with some local action as UIC hosts Green Bay. You can watch this Horizon League matchup live on CSN+ at 7 p.m.

The Flames (14-14, 7-8) are coming off of a loss to Oakland as they try to make one more push up the conference standings. Junior big man Tai Odiase leads UIC at 11.3 points per game as the former Homewood-Flossmoor product is also a solid rim protector.

Green Bay (16-11, 10-5) is still fighting for one of the conference's top spots as they're coming off of a win over Milwaukee. The Phoenix already own a four-point win over UIC this season at home in a close game.

Senior guard Charles Cooper is averaging 13.0 points per game as he's been one of the better guards in the conference this season.