Huskies down 14-3 at halftime

By Matt Hopkinson

The Florida State Seminoles won the opening coin toss in the Orange Bowl and chose to defer possession. The NIU Huskies went three and out on their opening possession, but got the ball back on a Nick O’Leary fumble, forced by Rashaan Melvin and recovered by Demetrius Stone. NIU could not capitalize and went three and out again.

Following a Jordan Lynch punt, the Seminoles were stuck on their own 5-yard line and struck with a 95-yard drive that took up just 1:11 seconds on the clock, highlighted by Lonnie Pryor’s 60 yard rush from scrimmage.

NIU would answer that scoring drive with a 25-yard field goal on a drive that was highlighted by an NIU fake punt that went to tight end Desroy Maxwell who converted the fourth down with a 35-yard run.

After trading punts, Florida State had another scoring chance on a drive that was stopped at the 33-yard line of NIU, when senior kicker Dustin Hopkins 50 yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and went stray, allowing NIU to take over on downs.

After four combined punts, Florida State would strike for its second touchdown of the first half after marching downfield behind the passing game of quarterback EJ Manuel. With second and goal from the NIU 6-yard line, FSU tried to run it in with Devonta Freeman, who was stonewalled by Melvin and Sean Progar. Following a timeout by coach Jimbo Fisher, Manuel came out and hit a pass to Rashad Greene, who made an athletic play by grabbing the ball and getting one foot inbounds for the score in the back end zone. After a Hopkins extra point, FSU took a 14-3 lead into halftime after Lynch took a knee to end the half.

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