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.

Illinois State, Loyola, Northern Iowa all in action Saturday on CSN and CSN+

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USA TODAY

Illinois State, Loyola, Northern Iowa all in action Saturday on CSN and CSN+

Illinois State, Loyola and Northern Iowa will all be in action Saturday.

And you can catch all three games on CSN and CSN+.

Tennessee-Martin at Illinois State, 2 p.m., CSN+

The Redbirds (4-3) are coming off of a tough loss on the road at Tulsa, but they're off to a solid start early in the season. Senior point guard Paris Lee, a Proviso East product, is having a monster season for Illinois State so far, averaging 15 points, 6.4 assists and three rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from 3-point range.

Tennessee-Martin (8-2) is off to a great start with only a pair of road losses to SEC opponents Ole Miss and Kentucky.

Milwaukee at Loyola, 3 p.m., CSN

The Ramblers (8-2) have won three straight games and will try to carry that momentum into Missouri Valley play. Junior forward Aundre Jackson is off to a great start, averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Loyola features a few former local high school stars. Senior Milton Doyle (Marshall) is playing well while junior Donte Ingram (Simeon) was off to a good start before a recent knee injury. 

Milwaukee (4-5) is off to a decent start in a rebuilding year under new head coach LaVall Jordan and is coming off a road win against Montana State.

Rockford Boylan product Brock Stull is the Panthers' leading scorer and rebounder. The sophomore guard is averaging 11.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

North Dakota at Northern Iowa, 7 p.m., CSN

Northern Iowa (4-4) is coming off of a blowout win over South Dakota State.

Senior Jeremy Morgan has been doing it all for the Panthers. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game. Morgan is putting up 15.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest this season.

North Dakota (5-2) has two straight wins, including a victory over in-state rival North Dakota State.

The Fighting Hawks are led by Quinton Hooker, who's averaging 16.7 points per game this season.

Wednesday on CSN: Northern Iowa hosts South Dakota State

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USA TODAY

Wednesday on CSN: Northern Iowa hosts South Dakota State

Northern Iowa tries to break its four-game losing streak as they hose South Dakota State on Wednesday night. This game will be carried live on CSN with a 7:00 p.m. tip.

The Panthers (3-4) started the season with wins over power-conference teams like Arizona State and Oklahoma before dropping the last few games.

Senior guard Jeremy Morgan is off to a strong start this season as he's putting up 15.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.9 assists per game. 

They'll get a solid test from South Dakota State as the Jackrabbits have one of the best mid-major players in the country in sophomore Mike Daum.

The 6-foot-9 Daum is averaging 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season as he's the frontrunner for Player of the Year in the Summit League this season.