DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois University wants fans to join the Huskies football team for their first Bowl Championship Series appearance.

NIU will face Florida State in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.

Athletic Director Jeff Compher said Wednesday that the school already has sold 5,500 tickets to the game. The university has an allotment of 17,500 seats.

The university is urging fans to buy their tickets through NIU.

Compher says doing so will help the Huskies fill their section of Sun Life Stadium in Miami and will offset some of the costs of the game.

Fans who can't make it to Florida also can support the team's trip by buying tickets that will be donated to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Miami or The Veterans Ticket Foundation.