01/01/2013 09:05 AM
FSU has faced mobile quarterbacks like B.J. Daniels, Tajh Boyd, Logan Thomas and Jeff Driskel this year but Lynch presents more challenges than each of them because of the way he is used in NIU's offense.
"The difference between this game is a lot of times with NIU they will call plays specifically for him to run the ball," FSU redshirt senior linebacker Vince Williams said. "They're quarterback-designed runs rather than broken plays or things like that."
What FSU does to limit Lynch could be the most important aspect of the primetime game and it will be defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot's job to have the Seminoles in position to do so. Before joining Stoops in Lexington, Ky. as the Wildcats' new defensive coordinator, Eliot will handle those duties for the 'Noles for the first and only time. He will also be assisted by predecessor Sal Sunseri, who will be on the sidelines after being hired in mid-December.
Tuesday's game not only marks the end of the Eliot era and that of assistant coach Eddie Gran, who is headed to be the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati, but it is also the final game for a host of long-time 'Noles like EJ Manuel, Rodney Smith, Lonnie Pryor, Everett Dawkins and Williams. There are also several underclassmen that will be facing a decision about their immediate future by game's end.
Manuel has the chance to keep his undefeated bowl record in tact and Smith has the chance to tie the school record for consecutive passes caught in a Seminole uniform.
Most importantly, all of FSU's players have a chance to end a winless BCS era, too.
"A lot of people throughout their four-year, five-year career in college don't get to play in a BCS Bowl," FSU sophomore running back James Wilder, Jr. said. "It's a big deal and we are going to do whatever we can to get this last win."