Utah State (8-5) vs. No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-1), 9:30 p.m. (ESPN). Line: Northern Illinois by 2.
Series record: Utah State leads 1-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
It's the final game for Jordan Lynch, NIU's dual-threat quarterback who was third in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named an all-purpose player on The Associated Press All-America team. He can become first player to rush and pass for 2,000 yards each in a season. Both teams are coming off losses in conference championship games -- NIU to Bowling Green in the Mid-American that cost it a BCS bid and Utah State to Fresno State in the Mountain West.
NIU's Jordan Lynch and fellow 1,000-yard rusher Cameron Stingily, plus WRs Tommylee Lewis and Da'Ron Brown, against an Aggies defense that has allowed only two 100-yard rushers and eight touchdowns rushing this season, and just 24 points in its last three games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Northern Illinois: Jordan Lynch has set the major college record for yards rushing for a quarterback with 1,881 to go with his 2,676 yards passing. He's run for 22 touchdowns and thrown for 23 more. He's also caught a TD pass.
Utah State: Linebackers Jake Doughty and Zach Vigil lead an Aggies defense that has intercepted 16 passes in its last nine games and scored three touchdowns in 2013.
FACTS & FIGURES NIU is playing in its sixth straight bowl game and second Poinsettia Bowl. It lost 37-7 to TCU in 2006 Poinsettia Bowl. ... Utah State is playing in its school-record third straight bowl game. ... The Aggies are 2-51 all-time against teams in The Associated Press poll, including its 24-17 loss at No. 24 Fresno State in the inaugural Mountain West Conference championship game. USU's last victory against a Top 25 team was a 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17, 2011. ... NIU tailback Cameron Stingily has 1,081 yards rushing, combining with Lynch for the school's first 1,000-yard tandem in school history.