Orange Bowl 2013: Florida State prepares without Mark Stoops

Stacy Revere

Without Mark Stoops, players and defensive assistants have stepped up to take charge of the Seminoles defense.

When the Florida State Seminoles square off against the Northern Illinois Huskies in the Orange Bowl, they will be without a key component of their run to an ACC championship in 2012 — former Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.

Stoops recently took over with the Kentucky Wildcats, leaving a strong defensive unit scrambling to prepare for a dangerous Huskies offensive attack. In Stoops' place, the Seminoles have reportedly utilized defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot as the defensive coordinator for the game, but with Eliot following Stoops to Kentucky, some players, including safety Lamarcus Joyner, stepped up to help out.

According to NoleSports.com, Joyner and cornerback Xavier Rhodes have worked to help younger defensive players prepare for the BCS bowl. And Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher couldn't be happier about the turn of events.

"Joyner, he's a guy that loves being in charge," Fisher told the site. "Those guys are doing a great job."

The Seminoles are looking for their first Orange Bowl victory in 17 years.

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