Syracuse 21, Florida State 45 — What we learned

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Syracuse couldn’t stop FSU’s offense on Saturday

Syracuse dropped its fifth straight game of the season, 45-21, to Florida State on the road. Here’s a few thoughts from the game:

MISTAKES COST SYRACUSE AT END OF FIRST HALF

Clock management and a bad kick led to a late Florida State touchdown at the end of the first half. With 1:27 left and Syracuse at the FSU 19, Orange head coach Scott Shafer made the decision to call timeout instead of letting time run off the clock. SU scored with 56 seconds left in the first half to pull within 21-14. But Ryan Norton’s squib kick on the kickoff was shanked, giving the Seminoles the ball at their own 42 yard line. “It was a bad kick. Simple as that,” Shafer said. “He’d be the first one to tell you that.” Eight plays later, the ‘Noles found paydirt and instead of a 7-point halftime deficit, the Orange trailed by 14. “We had the timeout to use,” Shafer said. “We wanted to make sure we were organized and got the best play on the football field.”

» Related: Florida State cruises past Syracuse

DUNGEY STRUGGLES AGAINST FSU DEFENSE

Syracuse freshman quarterback Eric Dungey had the worst performance of his young career against the ‘Noles. Dungey completed just 11 of 24 passes for 120 yards. He was also sacked twice and his fumble shifted momentum in what was a close game in the early part of the second half. Down 28-14 with 9:14 left in the third quarter, Dungey took a keeper and pushed forward to the SU 23, where he was stripped by defensive back Derwin James. Four plays later, the Seminoles scored a touchdown, and put the game out of reach. “I don’t know if he had a chance to play well to be quite honest with you,” Shafer said. “I don’t think we did a good enough job up front to give him a chance.”

MAGUIRE SHINES IN START

Sean Maguire may have won himself another start. Maguire filled in for Everett Golson (concussion) and threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns, picking apart a porous Syracuse secondary. While Golson has a 11-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio, he has struggled inside the red zone. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher wouldn’t commit to naming either as a starter after the game. “We have two guys that can play and win and can play games,” Fisher said. “Everett’s (Golson) health, we still got to get that and see where things are. We’ll go from there.”

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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