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Second half thread: Florida State 21, Syracuse 14

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That was weird.

Syracuse v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

That was a weird first half. The Syracuse Orange are only down 21-14 to the Florida State Seminoles, but it could’ve been worse. It also could’ve been better. These things make no sense.

Eric Dungey suffered an ankle injury on the first possession and gave way to Zack Mahoney at quarterback -- but not before throwing an interception. FSU threw a 51-yard touchdown pass shortly after that.

While the Mahoney-led offense showed some signs of life, it never really got rolling through the air. FSU’s Cam Akers would roll to a long score too (his first of two on the day) to make it 14-0.

Syracuse v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

But Dungey would return and despite the ankle issue and the early pick, has played pretty well. He’s 7-of-15 for 125 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were big plays. Jamal Custis got free on a fourth down and three to pick up the first score from 47 yards out. Steve Ishmael had the second on a 34-yard touchdown after an obvious push-off the refs ignored (thankfully).

Much of what SU’s offense has been through the air, with Dungey being the only player to run the ball effectively. Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland have carried the ball 11 times for 24 yards and the run game’s struggles took center stage when the team had the ball inside the 10 late in the half. They turned it over on downs, failing to tie the ballgame.

On the other end, the biggest saving grace is Syracuse’s third down defense. Florida State is 0-for-5 on third and the Orange have been able to get after James Blackman all day. That’s made up for the issues stopping the run. The Seminoles have 153 yards on the ground and are averaging 8.1 yards per carry.

‘Noles receive the ball to start the third quarter, but with luck Syracuse can avoid them stretching the lead. Let’s hope the comeback effort that started in the second quarter continues and the Orange can find a way to pull out the win here.