The first half of the 79th annual Orange Bowl was a little closer than Florida State fans would have chose, but in the end the Seminoles were the one's celebrating with oranges.
The Seminoles sealed the deal when senior quarterback E.J. Manuel took a nine-yard scamper to the end zone giving them a 24-10 lead.
Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor added to that with his second touchdown on the night when he ran straight up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown run with just over ten minutes remaining.
Pryor was the game's MVP finishing with 151 total yards and 134 yards on just five carries. He became the fifth FSU player to earn MVP honors in the Orange Bowl.
Pryor was also who got the ‘Noles going in the game when he had the longest run of his career, a 60-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
The win marked the first time FSU has won a BCS bowl game since 2000 when the ‘Noles knocked off Virginia Tech for the National Championship.
Manuel finished the night going 26-of-38 for 291 yards passing.
"Our seniors left us with a 12-2 finish, tying the school record, a top-10 finish and a BCS bowl victory," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They also left us with momentum going forward. It was great to have Florida State back in a BCS bowl game and where this program has a great history."
Northern Illinois tried everything it could to back up quarterback Jordan Lynch's comments, but the Seminole defense was just too much.
Aside from the Huskies lone touchdown drive in the third quarter, Lynch was completely neutralized. At the end of the first half he was 4-of-15 passing for 52 yards and had just 12 carries for 24 yards on the ground.
"They were fast, physical, and well-coached," Lynch said following the game. "Definitely the best defense we've faced all year. They were always in the right spot at the right time – and they were just hungry out there. They got after it and all the respect goes to them."