NIU Football Team Arrives in Miami for Orange Bowl

Huskies face off against Florida State on New Year's Day

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012  |  Updated 7:13 PM CDT
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NIU Football Team Arrives in Miami for Orange Bowl

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Head coach Dave Doeren of the Northern Illinois Huskies is presented the MAC championship trophy. The team heads to Florida Wednesday to continue preparations for the Orange Bowl game.

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There's no question the Northern Illinois University football team was excited to head to south Florida on Wednesday.

"Anytime you can get college kids up at 5 a.m., and they're on time, you know they're pumped," said head coach Rod Carey shortly after the team landed in Miami. "That usually doesn't happen at all so it feels good."

The Huskies face off against Florida State in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day after playing a 12-1 season.

The Huskies snuck into the big game by winning the MAC championship and slipping into the Top 16, earning an automatic BCS spot because they were ranked ahead of the Big Ten champion (Wisconsin) and the Big East champion (Louisville).

It's the first time a team from the Mid-American Conference will appear in a BCS game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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