A quick take on Syracuse’s 45-21 loss to Florida State on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: Despite elite FSU running back Dalvin Cook shelved with an ankle injury and Everett Golson out with a concussion, Florida State was able to generate more than enough offense to overpower Syracuse. The Orange went down into halftime down 28-14 and SU had the ball with 9:17 left and a chance to pull to within a score. But Eric Dungey fumbled on a QB keeper at SU’s 23, Travis Rudolph hauled in his third TD on the ensuing drive, and Syracuse never recovered.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse won somewhat of a ‘moral’ victory on Saturday afternoon, keeping pace with a team through three quarters that had demolished it 59-3 just two seasons ago. While the gap appears to be closing between the two teams, it’s still clear that Florida State is the upper class of the ACC, while Syracuse is still fighting for relevancy in its new conference. Until then, moral victories are the only ones that Syracuse will see against the Seminoles. Moral victories also won’t help Syracuse in its chance for a bowl bid, and can only sustain one more loss in its final four games to achieve its goal of a bowl bid.
HERO: Cook and Golson’s absences had no impact on the game with Jacques Patrick (2 TDs), Rudolph (3) and Sean McGuire (3) leading the way for the ‘Noles. Brisly Estime returned a punt 59 yards to the house for the final score of the game.
ZERO: Syracuse’s secondary struggled once again, with Maguire gashing SU through the air for two deep touchdown throws of 48 and 55 yards. Clock management, another theme of the season, was also an issue at the end of the first half. That, combined with a shanked squib kick from Ryan Norton led to a 28-14 deficit at intermission as opposed to a more manageable 21-14 game.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will travel to Louisville to play the Cardinals on Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m.