Syracuse continues its ACC schedule when it hosts No. 1 Florida State on Saturday. Here is a quick look at the game:
REPEAT CHAMPS?: In the 78-year history of the AP poll, there has only been two times where four of the top six teams lost during a single weekend. Last week was one of the two times. The historic weekend has only helped strengthen Florida State’s chances of playing in the college football playoffs at the end of the season. That is not to say that the Seminoles have not had close calls. Without reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston, FSU nearly lost to Clemson on Sept. 20, needing overtime to pull away from the Tigers. The following week, the Seminoles needed a second-half rally to edge North Carolina State. And, though the 43-3 final score didn’t show it, the FSU offense struggled in a win over doormat Wake Forest. Still, despite the ‘Noles having one more looming challenge against No. 6 Notre Dame on Oct. 18, and the schedule is otherwise wide open for them to run the regular season table.
SCOUTING THE SEMINOLES: Winston was completely dominant in 2013, throwing for 4057 yards and 40 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. He hasn’t been quite as stellar this year, throwing five interceptions in the first four games of his season. But he keyed FSU’s comeback against the Wolfpack, and kept Florida State ahead in a shootout against Oklahoma State in the season opener, throwing for 370 yards and a touchdown, and rushing for another, which helped overcome his two interceptions. Still, the ‘Noles offense hasn’t been quite as impressive as last season, when they set an ACC record with 7,267 yards. They’re ranked 39th in the nation in total offense this season, though Winston and 23rd in the country in points per game, at 39.2.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Florida State leads the overall series 6-1. The last time these two teams met was last year, with FSU pummeling the Orange, 59-3. Winston starred in that game, completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 11 at noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. TV: ESPN.