Saturday at 12 noon on ABC the ‘Noles will host the Syracuse Orange.
The Orange are 4-2 on the season with wins over Colgate, Western Michigan, Purdue and Army and loses to Clemson and North Carolina.
FSU is 13-2 against Syracuse in the all-time series including a dominant 38-3 victory last season.
Observations from the last game
FSU established the run early and were able to play off of that to build a 22-point lead. In the 2nd quarter VA Tech started to put themselves in more favorable down and distances, which helped them move the ball methodically down the field. After a breakdown on special teams and several missed calls by the officials the game tightened up. Then Trey Benson (200 yards rushing on 11 carries) and the Florida State offensive line took over to put the game out of reach.
Darius Washington was named ACC offensive lineman of the week for his play at left and right tackle on Saturday.
Florida State offense versus Syracuse defense
I expect Jordan Travis to have a great outing through the air against the Syracuse 116th ranked pass defense (278 yards per game). I don’t think Johnny Wilson is going to be in the lineup, but I have confidence that Kentron Portier and Hykeem Williams will do a good job replacing him.
The ‘Cuse do a good job slowing the ground game but it’s difficult to keep that up when they have to drop extra guys into coverage. For the Orange to contain the Seminoles they have to get great performances from pass rushers Caleb Okechukwu and Leon Lowery. The best player on the Syracuse defense is Marlowe Wax, who has 45 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception.
Florida State defense versus Syracuse offense
Quarterback Garrett Shrader does it all for the Orange offense. He has thrown for 1,272 yards and has rushed for 368 yards (6th most for an FBS QB) to go with 14 total touchdowns. However, Shrader does like to hang on to the ball too long as he has taken 14 sacks.
Once again, the Seminoles are going to be tested by a dual threat QB, which has been a weak spot so far this season. I think FSU is going to slow him down after a solid effort versus Virginia Tech. The ‘Noles also completely silenced Shrader last season (63 total yards).
SU has a group of receivers that they like to get the football to in Umari Hatcher, Donovan Brown and Damien Alford. Syracuse running back LeQuint Allen can make some plays receiving (141 yards) and rushing (401 yards) as well.
Even with the inconsistencies on special teams versus Virginia Tech and BC, FSU still has the upper hand in this phase.
Travis will have a big day in the passing game and the defense forces enough mistakes from Shrader to help the ‘Noles pull away in the 2nd half. Florida State 38 Syracuse 21.