Harrison Orange Thought: No-Win Situation

Posted Jan 2, 2013

Phil Harrison's Thoughts on Florida State's 2013 Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN

-This game had to remind you a little bit of one of those Cinderella matchups in March Madness. The slipper looked like it fit early as the underdog played inspired and hung with the upper-crust of college football only to finally run out of gas quickly at the end. Northern Illinois showed everyone that they could play with a much more athletically gifted Seminole team, but then its emotions and psyche ran out like many games that we see on the hardwood in March.

- This was a no-win situation for the Florida State program. Win big and you deliver the presentation at the business trip like expected. Lose and everyone and their distant relatives are writing jokes and songs about the Heimlich maneuver.

- Coming into the game, it was expected that Jordan Lynch would be a shadow of his MAC self against a great Seminole defense. For the most part, that held to be true as Lynch found it hard to find lanes to run through and completed less than half of his passes.

- EJ Manuel can now ride off into the sunset with over 300 yards of total offense in his last game wearing the Garnet and Gold. It was a good career, but most will tell you that more was expected of the athletic dual-threat quarterback. There were unbelievable highlights and some ridiculous games, but by and large his erratic play in some of the bigger games left too much on the table.

- On that note, can Jimbo Fisher finally get his team to play up to its potential in 2013? The Seminoles will have to break in a new QB--likely Clint Trickett--but there are a lot of pieces in place and more waiting to step in that should allow FSU to make a run at some things that we won't jinx at this point in time.

- This was still a great year for Northern Illinois. It ran the table in the MAC, and in fact rattled off eleven straight wins after Iowa knocked them off by one point in the opener. Sure the loss stings right now, but it'll be a season to remember in DeKalb. The program may never be on a bigger stage than tonight.

- It took a little while, but there wasn't much out of the ordinary in South Florida tonight. It was just one team that was better than the other imposing its will with surgical precision in the second half.