Utah State defense stifles Northern Illinois and Jordan Lynch in Poinsettia Bowl

Dr. Saturday

What was Jordan Lynch's final college game going to be like? Well, not good.

The Utah State defense forced two turnovers from Lynch and held him to 216 yards passing and 39 running in a 21-14 win over Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Thursday night.

Lynch entered the game with 2,676 yards passing and 1,818 yards rushing. A big game would have been necessary, but given some of the performances Lynch has had this season, it wasn't entirely out of the realm of possibility he could crack 3,000 and 2,000. And it'd be the perfect platform for the Huskies to show that it deserved the BCS berth that it contended for most of the season and to also vindicate Lynch's Heisman finalist appearance.

Instead, neither really came close. Lynch fumbled on Northern Illinois' second possession of the game, and on the Huskies' first possession of the first half, he tossed a pick. He couldn't find space on the ground and was forced to settle for short passes and underneath routes, as Utah State not only covered well downfield but kept him bottled up in the pocket.

Oh, and Northern Illinois' kicker troubles continued too. Mathew Sims entered the game 6-13 on field goal attempts since the beginning of November and missed two field goals inside of 40 yards Thursday. The first could have tied the game at 3-3 in the first quarter and the second could have cut NIU's deficit to 13-10 in the fourth quarter.

The Huskies close the season on two straight losses and finish at 12-2 while Utah State finishes 9-5.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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