This Saturday at 8 PM on the ACC Network the Seminoles will be in the JMA Wireless Dome to take on the Syracuse Orange.
Syracuse is 6-3 with wins against Louisville, UConn, Purdue, Virginia, Wagner and NC State with losses to Clemson, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.
FSU is 12-2 all time versus the Orange. Florida State has won the last 2 including a wild 33-30 victory a season ago.
Observations from the last game
FSU was dominate in every aspect of the game from start to finish. It was a huge win for the program in so many ways as the ‘Noles beatdown a rival in their house, became bowl eligible and showed 50+ recruits what playing for FSU and Mike Norvell is all about.
The kickers Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Mastromanno were great as well.
The rushing attack led by Trey Benson (128 yards and 2 TDs) gashed Miami to a tune of 229 yards.
Florida State offense versus Syracuse defense
The Seminoles will face another stout defense this weekend. The Orange defense is 18th in the FBS with 4.8 yards per play allowed. SU is in the middle of the pack when defending the run but are 14th versus the pass.
The 3-headed monster in the backfield will be back to full strength with Tre’Shaun returning to the lineup and that should bring a safety closer to the line of scrimmage. This means Jordan Travis will need to put up another solid performance to get Syracuse to pull the safety back.
The Orange are very capable of getting to the quarterback as they have 22 sacks on season with 4.5 coming from Caleb Okechukwu. The headliner on the SU defense is linebacker Mikel Jones, who has 75 tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble.
Florida State defense versus Syracuse offense
The offense goes through Syracuse’s all-time leading rusher Sean Tucker (777 yards rushing this year) but he has had some of the load taken off of his shoulders with the emergence of quarterback Garrett Shrader (20 total TDs).
Shrader missed last week game, in which the Orange scored only 9 points, and is questionable for this week’s game. If he is unable to play the starter at QB will be Carlos Del Rio-Wilson. In the last game and a half he has played, Del Rio-Wilson has been sacked 9 times. This bodes well for the Seminoles, who are 12th in sacks per game with 3.1. Jared Verse and Patrick Payton should have big games.
Advantage: Florida State
I don’t see a path to victory for Syracuse if Shrader can’t play. However, I think he will and FSU will be in a fight. The 3-headed monster at running back will have another big game opening the defense up for Travis to make some plays in the passing game. The defense will play well but Sean Tucker will break loose a couple times keeping the game close.
Florida State 27 Syracuse 17.