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Florida State 45, Syracuse 21: Four Quick Takeaways

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The Orange lost. It wasn't pretty.

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse suffered a 45-21 loss to Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee. Here are four takeaways:

1. Questionable coaching decisions

Down 21-7 with the ball and near the goal line with about a minute left in the first half, the Orange took a timeout. That stopped the clock, and after Eric Dungey ran for a touchdown on the next play, there were still 56 seconds remaining in the half. Had Syracuse not called a timeout, it obviously could've wasted some clock and left FSU without enough time to do anything offensively.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff, SU opted to squib kick, despite the fact that kicker Ryan Norton had already recorded a couple touchbacks. That gave the Seminoles the ball at their own 42-yard line and, with plenty of time to operate, they promptly marched 58 yards on seven plays, scoring a touchdown and erasing any momentum SU had seized.

2. Dungey's issues

For perhaps the first time this season, Eric Dungey was less than sharp through the air on Saturday, finishing 11-of-24 for 120 yards and zero touchdowns. He didn't quite have the touch he typically does with his deep throws, and he often looked rattled in the pocket. Of course, Florida State's defense is easily the best one Dungey has faced this season, so it's not surprising that he'd struggle.

And on a better note, Dungey did rush 13 times for 46 yards and accounted for Syracuse's only two touchdowns with his legs. Fortunately, he avoided another injury -- though it is worrisome to see him continually take big hits from linebackers and safeties.

3. Secondary debacle

With Florida State starting quarterback Everett Golson out, backup quarterback Sean Maguire finished 23-of-35 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. And though Maguire played exceptionally well, it's worth pointing out that he was throwing to receivers who had very little trouble getting open down the field.

Specifically, Syracuse's secondary made Travis Rudolph look like college football's best receiver. He caught five passes for 191 yards -- thus averaging 38.2 yards per reception -- and reeled in three touchdowns.

4. No Cook, no problem

When FSU running back Dalvin Cook was ruled out of Saturday's game, it was logical to think that it gave SU a much better chance at coming away with the upset. But the Seminoles hardly missed a beat with Jacques Patrick filling in for Cook.

Patrick had 162 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 24 carries, becoming the fourth running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards in a game against Syracuse.