Northern Illinois University campus celebrates Orange Bowl berth
December 3, 2012 (DEKALB, Ill.) (WLS) -- Excitement is building on the campus of Northern Illinois University after it was revealed that NIU's football team is going to the Orange Bowl for the first time in history.
Players, students and coaches are busy preparing for the big game.
NIU was allotted 17,500 tickets for the Orange Bowl and the school in turn is offering those as one-free ticket per student.
Those tickets were being snapped up by Husky fans who said their team deserves to be in the Orange Bowl despite what naysayers said.
A representative from the Orange Bowl committee toured the campus, escorted by the school's mascot and complimented students Monday.
"Northern Illinois did a good job. They earned their spot and deserve to be in Miami on the first," committee member Larry Gautier said. "We will be glad to have them down."
Northern Illinois defeated Kent State Friday night that went into double overtime with a final score of 44-37.
Not everyone was thrilled that NIU became the first mac team to earn a berth in the orange bowl game.
Analysts had harsh words the fact that NIU is in the BCS does not bode well for the state of college football.
That negativity didn't bother Coach Rod Carey, who just promoted to that position Sunday after the former coach Don Doeren left to take another job at North Carolina State.
The players their sights set on beating Florida State, Carey said.
"The only opinions I care about are the guys in the room and they were super excited about it and I know they all know and we all know they have earned it," Carey said.
News that NIU was offering one free ticket for every student was met with a line of eager takers who now have to figure out how to get to Miami.
"I love the Huskies. I go to every game," student Molly Marks said. "I went to the bowl game last year with friends and of course we want to go to this game to support them."
Students also doing their own bit of trash talking.
"The haters are going to hate but we're here for a reason and we did deserve that," student Kenyetta Watkins said.
local, karen jordan
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