NIU's Lynch in Action 12/26/13
UNDATED - No. 24 Northern Illinois tries to rebound from its only loss of the season when it takes on Utah State in the Poinsettia Bowl tonight in San Diego. The Huskies are led by Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch who sparked the team's 12-0 start before a loss to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference title game.
Lynch has set the major college record for yards rushing for a quarterback with 1,881 to go with his 2,676 yards passing. He's run for 22 touchdowns and thrown for 23 more. He'll present a challenge for an Aggies defense that has 16 interceptions in its last nine games. Utah is 8-5 and is coming off a loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference title game.
Bowling Green's reward for knocking off NIU in the MAC title game is a date with Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit. The Falcons averaged 35.4 points and 472.5 yards with a balanced offense. Travis Greene ran for a single-season, school-record 1,555 yards. Matt Johnson threw for 3,195 yards with 23 touchdowns.
Pittsburgh is 6-6 and looking for its first winning season in four years. The Panthers are anchored by ACC defensive player of the year Aaron Donald. He's collected a slew of post-season honors including the Lombardi, Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik awards.