N. Illinois doesn't have enough tricks
Anxious to avoid an Orange Bowl shocker, the Florida State Seminoles kept getting tricked.
An onside kick fooled them, as did a fake punt, and a pooch punt by Northern Illinois' star quarterback.
But the final score was no surprise. Florida State had too much speed and depth for the Huskies and pulled away for a 31-10 victory Tuesday night at Miami.
Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, voted the game's outstanding player, ran for a career-high 134 yards and two scores in only five carries. Senior EJ Manuel threw for 291 yards, while the Seminoles stuffed Huskies' QB and all-purpose threat Jordan Lynch for most of the night.
The victory was a consolation prize for the No. 13 Seminoles (12-2), who began the season with national championship hopes. They've won five consecutive bowl games, but the victory was their first in a BCS bowl since 2000, when they beat Virginia Tech for the national championship.
For 16th-ranked Northern Illinois (12-2), playing in a BCS bowl for the first time, the defeat snapped a 12-game winning streak. The Huskies came in as two-touchdown underdogs and fell to 5-28 against top 25 teams.
Pryor scored the first touchdown on a career-long 60-yard run, then ran 37 yards for a clinching touchdown with 10 minutes left. They were the two longest rushes allowed by Northern Illinois all season.
Manuel went 26 for 38, threw for one score and ran for another.
The Huskies were widely derided as unworthy of a BCS bowl berth, and didn't do enough to silence the doubters. They were outgained 534 yards to 259.
Capital One Bowl
-- Georgia 45, Nebraska 31—At Orlando, Fla., Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes to set a Georgia bowl record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the Bulldogs beat Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
Murray shook off a pair of first-half interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and passed for 427 yards—also a Bulldogs bowl record—against the nation's top-ranked passing defense. He was named the game's most valuable player.
Georgia (12-2) reached 12 wins for the third time in school history.
Nebraska (10-4) lost its third consecutive bowl game, and finished the season with two straight woeful defensive performances. The Cornhuskers lost the Big Ten championship game 70-31.
The Cornhuskers led 24-23 at the half, but committed two of their three turnovers in the final 30 minutes. Taylor Martinez had two interceptions and two touchdown passes for Nebraska and Rex Burkhead rushed for 140 yards in his final college game.
Nebraska's offense finished with 443 total yards, but the Bulldogs defense was stingy when it needed to be. They sacked Martinez five times, with All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones notching two. Damian Swann had both Georgia interceptions.
Nebraska's offense finished with 443 yards, but the Bulldogs were stingy when they needed to be.
-- (11) South Carolina 33, (19) Michigan 28—Connor Shaw led South Carolina to the brink of victory and Dylan Thompson carried the Gamecocks over the hump in the Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla.
Thompson came off the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left Tuesday, enabling South Carolina to tie a school record for victories with a 33-28 win over No. 19 Michigan.
Thompson replaced Shaw during the winning drive, covering the final 43 yards after Shaw began the march from his own 30. Devin Gardner's third TD pass of the game had given Michigan a 28-27 lead.
Shaw threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns after missing South Carolina's regular season finale with a left foot sprain. Thompson led the Gamecocks (11-2) to a victory over their archrival, and threw for 117 yards and two TDs.
-- (21) Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20—Behind huge interceptions early and late, Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., and snapped college football's longest postseason losing streak.
The Wildcats (10-3) earned their first bowl win since 1949, ending a nine-game losing skid that was tied for the longest in NCAA history. They also celebrated double-digit victories for the first time since the 1995 Rose Bowl season.
Heart of Dallas Bowl
-- Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14—Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State's five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a disappointing Big 12 finish by dominating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
The Cowboys, a year removed from a Fiesta Bowl win that capped the best season in school history, forced five turnovers and had another short TD drive after a 64-yard punt return from Josh Stewart.
It was the biggest bowl win for Oklahoma State since coach Mike Gundy was the quarterback in a 62-14 rout of Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys (8-5) missed out on upper-tier bowls after narrow losses in their last two Big 12 games.
With former Purdue quarterbacks Drew Brees and Kyle Orton watching, Robert Marve didn't get to 100 yards passing until Oklahoma State led 45-0 as Purdue (6-7) fell to 0-4 on New Year's Day.
Leading 28-0 at halftime, Oklahoma State erased any lingering doubt three plays into the second half when Justin Gilbert stripped Purdue receiver O.J. Ross on a short completion. The loose ball shot straight to Daytawion Lowe, who ran 37 yards down the sideline in front of the Purdue bench for a 35-0 lead.
Oklahoma State's 58 points were the most in a bowl game at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium, topping the 55 scored by Keyshawn Johnson and Southern California against Texas Tech in 1995.