A quick take on Syracuse’s brutal 35-17 loss to Florida State on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: With 5:18 left in the first half, Syracuse was presented with a golden opportunity. Down just 13-3, the Seminoles were pinned deep and punted to the Orange at their own 42-yard line. But SU couldn’t take advantage, and Andre Szmyt missed a 46-yard field goal. Florida State immediately capitalized, going 72 yards in eight plays, culminating in a Cam Akers six-yard run to put FSU up 21-3. The lead would balloon to 35-3 in the fourth quarter before Syracuse finally added two garbage time touchdowns to make the score appear much closer than it was.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s beleaguered offensive line got some bad news midweek, with graduate transfer tackle Ryan Alexander leaving the team. He had been part of a unit that had struggled to protect quarterback Tommy DeVito, and his absence was felt against the Seminoles, with DeVito absorbing another seven sacks. Syracuse is now at an NCAA-worst 42 sacks allowed on the year. The offense couldn’t take advantage of multiple opportunities the defense gave it in the second quarter, coming away empty handed after the defense had handed the ball to them near midfield. A bowl game seems like a pipe dream at this point for SU, the only winless team in the ACC.
HERO: Akers repeatedly gashed the SU defense, rushing 20 times for 144 yards and four touchdowns. For good measure, he also completed two passes on trick plays for 26 yards. Akers gave way to understudy Khalan Laborn as the game wore on, and Laborn tacked on 68 yards and a score.
ZERO: Plenty to choose from for the Orange, but this occasion seems like a perfect opportunity to bring up the 14 times Syracuse was flagged for 107 yards. Syracuse also saw its nation-leading streak of 21 games with a forced turnover end.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to host Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 12 at noon. TV: ACC Network.