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Final Score: Florida State 45, Syracuse 14

The score says everything and nothing about this game at the same time.

Florida State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Dalvin Cook did Dalvin Cook things, running for 225 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries as the Florida State Seminoles beat the Syracuse Orange 45-20 on Saturday.

That’s about all you can really glean from a strange game at the Carrier Dome. There were four FSU turnovers and a ton of opportunities for the Orange, but they were never really able to take advantage.

Zack Mahoney found himself under siege for much of the contest, and outside of a couple drives, was unable to get in rhythm. The backup quarterback, in for Eric Dungey, was 16-for-36 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mahoney was also sacked seven times on the afternoon behind a makeshift offensive line.

Ervin Philips caught seven passes for 63 yards and a score to lead the Orange. On Senior Day, Amba Etta-Tawo also made his presence known. His 46-yard Hail Mary grab for a score was Syracuse’s first touchdown of the game to end the second quarter.

Still, as mentioned, Cook told the story for the game. Florida State avoided using him a lot in the first half, but still got out to a 21-7 lead at the half. they leaned on him heavily in the third quarter, however, to put the game away. The Seminoles ran for 334 yards on the day -- no surprise against one of the country’s worst rushing defenses. Jacques Patrick also tacked on 50 yards behind Cook’s 225.

Florida State also managed to carve up the Orange’s beleaguered secondary, managing 315 yards on just 18 completions. He also tossed two scores to go with one interception.

That pick was one of three turnovers contributed by redshirt freshman cornerback Christopher Frederick. Frederick has come on strong for Syracuse in the late stages of the season, only receiving playing time after all of the injuries suffered in the secondary. He’ll be making a greater impact in future seasons for SU.

While Etta-Tawo drew the headlines among the team’s 18 players being recognized on Senior Day, he wasn’t the only one to make an impact. Brisly Estime had six catches for 46 yards and two punt returns for 64 yards (including a big 46-yard punt return in the first half). Alvin Cornelius had one catch for 29 yards, along with several targets. George Morris II had three carries for eight yards, while Austin Wilson also quarterbacked the final drive for SU.

***

The Orange fall to 4-7, and 2-5 in the ACC this year. If they have any hope of making a bowl game, it’ll ride on a win over Pittsburgh next week and an APR assist.

More recapping to come. Enjoy your Saturday evenings.