MIAMI — Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch entered Tuesday's Orange Bowl as an All-American who finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting and accounted for more yards of total offense in the regular season than any player in the nation.
Last week, in response to criticism that the Huskies didn't belong in a BCS game, the senior promised to have the Seminoles "on their knees" in the fourth quarter.
Florida State wasn't impressed. And one of its players was not afraid to say so after a 31-10 victory.
"He's terrible," linebacker Vince Williams said.
Williams added that Lynch's comments motivated the Seminoles, who entered with the nation's No. 2 overall defense.
"That was straight-up bulletin board material," said Williams, whose 10 tackles tied for the team high. "First of all because of how much success our defense had. We've been really, really good, and nobody's ever said anything like that to us. So we were like, 'This man must have lost his mind.' What did he do that was good? He didn't do anything that was good. We were killing him. He's not good at all."
Lynch had, arguably, his worst game of the season. He was 15-of-41 for 176 yards and a touchdown. It was a season low for completion percentage (36.6) and his lowest pass efficiency rating (75.8) since opening day, an 18-17 loss to Iowa in Lynch's first game as a starter.
As a rusher, he ended with a season-low 44 yards. He had been above 100 for his past 11 games.
FSU linebacker Telvin Smith said the defense tried to get in Lynch's head throughout the game by yelling at him.
"He wouldn't say nothing," Smith said. "He was really trying to stay focused."
Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey backed his quarterback after last week's comments were publicized: "What's he supposed to say? 'Hey, we're just hoping we get a first down, get a yard or two?' That's the confidence, and these guys expect that."
After the game, though, Carey interrupted a question directed to Lynch to say the quarterback had been "taken out of context."
"Everybody made a big deal out of it," Carey said. "I was there. I was at the interview. He did not make those comments."
Lynch didn't get a chance to talk about the comments. But he praised FSU.
"They were fast, physical and well-coached," he said. "Definitely the best defense we've played all year."
Running back done: FSU running back Chris Thompson will not try to get a medical redshirt and instead will turn pro. Thompson tore his ACL after making a catch against Miami in October. It was the second season-ending injury in as many seasons.
Information from the Orlando Sentinel was used in this report.