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DeKALB, Ill. - The 12-1 Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois University football team will meet ACC Champion Florida State in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. as the Huskies will cap a historic season with the first Bowl Championship Series bowl appearance in school and MAC history.
Northern Illinois earned its nation-leading 12th straight victory with a 44-37 double overtime victory over #17 (BCS) Kent State, 44-37, in the Marathon MAC Championship game in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 30. The win elevated the Huskies to a No. 16 spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls, and put one of the winningest programs in the nation over the last three years into BCS consideration for the first time in school history.
"This is unprecedented for our conference and for our university," said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "This will go down as a seminal day in the history of our university and of our football program. It's a day that all of our alumni, current students and fans will remember forever with tremendous pride. I am confident our fans and alumni will respond with a great presence in Miami for this game. I know the Orange Bowl Committee and the city of Miami will provide a great experience for Huskie Nation."
Rod Carey, who served as offensive coordinator for NIU for the last 12 games of the season and has been the offensive line coach in each of the last two years, will make his head coaching debut at the Discover Orange Bowl. He leads a Northern Illinois offense ranked 15th in the nation behind Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch, a junior quarterback from Chicago who leads the country in rushing yards (1,771) and total offense yards (4,733).
Northern Illinois' school-record 12-game win streak comes on the heels of back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010 and 2011 for the Huskies. NIU is the only program in the country to win 21 of its last 22 games and joins Oregon as the only two schools with three straight 11-win seasons. The Huskie seniors are the winningest class in school history with 41 victories.
Tickets for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl range from $75-$225 and can be purchased through the Bowl Central page on Northern Illinois Athletics' website at www.NIUHuskies.com beginning at 9 a.m. (CT) Monday, Dec. 3. Fans can also call the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center at 815-752-6800 during regular business hours.
Northern Illinois will offer free tickets to NIU students who can attend the game. Students can reserve their free ticket (one per student) at the NIU Convocation Center Ticket Office beginning Monday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. Proper identification will be required and students can pick up their ticket at will call at the Discover Orange Bowl.
Information on travel to Miami, including fan and student bus packages, will be available on NIU's "Bowl Central" website on Monday.
Northern Illinois extends its consecutive bowl game season streak to five and the Huskies will make their seventh bowl appearance in the last nine seasons. The Discover Orange will be NIU's 13th bowl game all-time and the Huskies are 5-7 in bowls all-time, including a 4-3 mark since moving to the "Major College" (now Football Bowl Subdivision) ranks in 1969. A year ago, NIU defeated Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala., 48-20. The Huskies beat Fresno State in the 2010 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho, 40-17.
The Discover Orange Bowl game will be the first ever meeting between Florida State and NIU