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Syracuse vs. Florida State: The Quotant Quotables

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The Orange played fairly well against the top-ranked Seminoles, but the upset bid fell just a little short. Hear what some of Syracuse's coaches and players have to say about it.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Shafer on Syracuse's performance:

"For our kids to beat the No. 1 team in the country is a difficult task, but I really believed that we could beat this team and we didn’t get that done today. I saw some good things that were encouraging, but we need to do a good job of understanding just how important it is that when we have opportunities, we have to make them."

On the quarterback play:

"I thought both Austin (Wilson) and AJ (Long) did some good things for their first extended playing time. AJ was just the way I thought he would be. He really loves to play the game, he’s really a fun kid to be around out there. There’s never a sense that he’s tightening up or anything so I was really encouraged by the way he played. Did he make mistakes? Yes. But all-in-all, the opportunity to be baptized by fire against No. 1 in the country I thought the kid did a pretty darn good job."

On Wilson leaving the game with an upper-body injury:

"Hearts and prayers out to him but he’ll be okay. He’ll bounce back. He’s a tough kid from Pennsylvania. First time I ever met him, he had a black eye from a scrap he got into on the basketball court. So he’ll be alright, he’ll be okay."

Hard-eyed?

On freshman Steve Ishmael, who caught two touchdowns:

"We’re starting to see some things out of him that we saw out of him when we saw him in the recruiting process. I remember when Coach McDonald came to me and told me about him, I was really excited that we turned on the tape. It’s one of those things, the things we saw on tape we’re starting to see every week. He’s starting to play with a little more confidence. He’s starting to learn how to get off press coverage which isn’t easy when you move up to this level."

AJ Long on his first start:

"It was an awesome experience and one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. You couldn’t write a script any better for a true freshman that everybody thought runs his mouth before, to come out and play the No. 1 team in the country and play a decent game."

On his chemistry with fellow freshman Steve Ishmael:

"Most of the time we go up against each other versus the first team defense on scout team. Then we really built it. You put that ball within a two-, three-feet radius of that man, he is going to catch it. Doesn’t matter if its one-handed, two-handed, he could catch it with his eyes closed. He is just a great receiver and I’m blessed to be able to throw the ball to him."

Ishmael on the team's outlook:

"Coach Shafer preached that we had nothing to lose and we should just have fun. He told us to go ahead and do what you do best and that’s what we did. We had a clear chance at beating this team but we are just moving on to the second half of the season and worrying about Wake Forest and going to a bowl game."

On Long's running ability:

"I feel like the league is turning into a dual-threat quarterback type thing with RG3 and Cam Newton. And i just feel like AJ is something similar. From his just extending the time helps me get open on my routes. So I think that's a huge benefit to this team."

OC Tim Lester on his assessment of Long:

"His decision making was good. He missed a couple throws, one in the red zone on a flat route which he’s eating himself up over. He made some good reads, good throws, he did well in the running game."

Sean Hickey on Syracuse's red zone woes:

"When we get around the six-, seven-yard line – it gets to that awkward yard-line. Are we going to run or throw or bring in the heavy formation? As a player it can get awkward. We just have to execute better in the red zone.

Prince-Tyson Gulley on the offensive play:

"I feel like we got the running backs going really early and everything was just starting to fall in place and our receivers were making good plays. Both quarterbacks did great and everything was good today."

Jameis Winston on playing through off-the-field distractions:

"It’s not about the distractions. It’s about playing Florida State football. It’s about going out there every day to practice, doing our school work, making sure you’re a great student-athlete. When you get on the field, that’s a sanctuary."

On the Seminoles season:

As the season goes on, we’re going to get better and better. Everything is starting to come together. Defense is playing good, offense is playing good. And guys, when Florida State plays Florida State football, we’re hard to stop.