Day & Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 12:20 p.m. ET
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
Line: Syracuse opened up as 2.5-point underdogs, and that’s drifted up to about 4.5 points now.
TV/Streaming: ACCN (check your local affiliates list) or ACCNE where not televised
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Florida State blog: Tomahawk Nation
Rivalry: 9-1, Florida State leads
Current Streak: 9, ‘Noles
First Meeting: In 1966, a mediocre FSU program trekked up to Archbold Stadium and suffered a 37-21 loss. Interestingly, despite being an independent at the time, the Seminoles played a bit of an ACC schedule that year, facing Miami, Syracuse and Wake Forest, plus one-time members South Carolina and Maryland also on there. Larry Csonka and Floyd Little controlled the proceedings in the game, as was the case all season. SU threw for less than 1,000 yards that season.
Last Meeting: Dalvin Cook ran all over Syracuse at the Dome, en route to a 45-14 blowout victory. Zack Mahoney played quarterback for the Orange, and the team just never got on track offensively, despite some opportunities. It was actually the most lopsided loss for SU in the series since the 59-3 drubbing back in 2013.
Head Coaches: SU: Dino Babers (2nd year, 8-12), Florida State: Jimbo Fisher (8th year, 80-22)
Coach Bio: Fisher played quarterback at Salem University and Samford, then spent a year with the Arena Football League’s Chicago Bruisers. Immediately following that foray, he was back in the college ranks as a coach with Samford until 1992. In 1993, he headed off to Auburn (where he spent six years), then a one-year stint in Cincinnati took him back to the SEC in the form of LSU. He’d handle the offense there until 2006, then he went off to FSU. Fisher took over for Bobby Bowden in 2010, winning three ACC titles and a national championship since then.
Last Year: Florida State had its lowest ACC finish under Fisher (third), but still made it to the Orange Bowl, where they beat Michigan in a thriller, 33-32. The team was led by young quarterback Deondre Francois, as well as the lethal rushing attack championed by Dalvin Cook. They were pretty good, aside from the blowout loss to Louisville.
Last Game: The Seminoles had no desire to be in Chestnut Hill last Friday night, and figured they’d expedite their exit by getting pasted by Boston College, 35-3. There’s very little to glean from that game other than the FSU just not really being up for the contest. The talent gap meant very little as BC exploited Florida State’s line and put constant pressure on James Blackman at QB. The run game was listless as well.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Safety Derwin James is one of the best players at his position in the entire country, and if Syracuse wants to execute any big plays, they’ll probably have to get past him. He’s big, can cover just about anybody and is a sure tackler (has 50 stops already this year). James is a future first round draft pick, and probably the best defensive back we’ll face all season. Hopefully Steve Ishmael can get some one-on-one matchups with cornerbacks instead...
If Syracuse Wins: A bowl game becomes a whole lot more likely for the Orange. Five wins -- with two vs. Clemson and FSU -- would be an unexpected, but positive result. Now matter how we pulled it off, the victory would be a major step for the program. Despite the record, Florida State is still immensely talented, which counts for plenty.
If Syracuse Loses: Not the end of the world, but certainly makes bowling more difficult. If you told me we’d go 1-2 vs. Clemson, Miami and Florida State back in August, I’d be fine with it. I still would be here, just more frustrated about it because the games were more winnable than originally imagined.
Fun Fact No. 1: Tino Sunseri is a quality control coach with the ‘Noles. You probably remember that name from his time with the Pittsburgh Panthers. Though he never put up gaudy numbers vs. Syracuse, he did lead Pitt to two wins over the Orange. His last game against SU was actually a 14-13 loss — the last L Pittsburgh took against Syracuse until this year.
Fun Fact No. 2: You’ve probably heard this one tossed around of late, but Florida State has played in an NCAA-best 35 straight bowl games. They’d need to win out to do so again, since the Seminoles lost a game due to the hurricane in September.