The Orange Bowl between Northern Illinois and Florida State was actually somewhat close until a controversial call helped swing things in favor of the Seminoles.
Northern Illinois was trailing 24-10 and had the ball at the FSU 38 early in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Da’Ron Brown got the ball on an end-around pitch and tried reversing field. He was quickly brought down, and then he lost the ball as two other Seminoles converged on him. The ruling on the play was that Brown fumbled.
Luckily for the Huskies, the play was reviewed by the referees, who should have overturned the call after seeing that Brown’s knee was down before the ball came out. Unfortunately for Northern Illinois, the officials upheld the ruling on the field, giving Florida State the ball. Fullback Lonnie Pryor ran for a 37-yard touchdown two plays later to make it 31-10.
Instead of driving to make it a one-score game, Northern Illinois ended up down by 21 points. The Huskies had difficulty moving the ball most of the game and the ‘Noles more than doubled their yardage, but they were in it until that call.
The screenshot below shows that Brown’s knee was down before the ball came out: