The Daily Nole

60 Days Until FSU Football: Lonnie Pryor Goes for 60-Yard Touchdown in Orange Bowl

Steve Musco/FSU athletics

There are now 60 days left until Florida State football starts the 2018 season. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Wednesday, it was former defensive lineman Jack Shinholser, who wore No. 61 at FSU and earned a reputation as an intense defender.

Today, it’s former fullback Lonnie Pryor going for a career-long 60-yard touchdown in the 2013 Orange Bowl.

Was Lonnie Pryor the last great fullback at FSU? It’s certainly possible. Football has made a gradual shift away from fullbacks in conventional offenses, though former head coach Jimbo Fisher still found ways to use them pretty successfully. Pryor was the perfect example of a fullback who brought power as a blocker, while still being able to make a crucial play when needed.

It makes sense that in the final game of his FSU career, Pryor turned in an MVP performance and the longest run of his career.

FSU got off to a slow start in the Orange Bowl to cap the 2012 season that had some fans wondering if they were about to see an upset by the BCS-busting Northern Illinois Huskies. It was only the first quarter, but all underdog stories have to start somewhere. Florida State’s offense had fumbled away an opportunity on the previous drive, giving momentum to the Huskies.

Pryor took that momentum right back. On a 1st-and-10 from FSU’s own 40-yard line, Fisher called up a simple inside hand-off to Pryor. The senior fullback took it, made one cut, and then sprinted down the field for a 60-yard touchdown to give FSU a lead it would never relinquish. It was the longest of Pryor’s career and the second longest run in FSU bowl game history at the time.

It turned out to be arguably his best game ever as a Seminole. Pryor ran it just five times, but somehow gained 134 yards and two touchdowns. He also added in three receptions for 17 yards to go over the 150-yard mark when it came to total offense. For his explosive play, Pryor was awarded the Orange Bowl MVP after the 31-10 victory.

It was truly one of the most fitting ends to a career that saw him gain over 1,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in four years. Pryor’s performance helped the Seminoles secure their first major bowl win in 13 years and their first AP top-10 finish since 2000.

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