Welcome to week three! The Syracuse Orange (2-0, 0-0) host the Florida State Seminoles (1-1, 0-1) at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. SU’s outpaced lesser opponents to start the season, while things have been a bit rockier for the ‘Noles. Still, they are FSU...
Not that this has any bearing on this weekend’s game, but Syracuse has lost 10 straight to Florida State. But with a minuscule line in Vegas (Orange +3), there’s some hope that maybe SU can pull this off.
If you’re not at the Dome, you can catch all of the action starting at noon ET on ESPN/WatchESPN.
So what does the TNIAAM staff predict is going to happen in this one?
FSU 42, Syracuse 38
While the Seminoles are currently in trash can fire mode, the Orange by the scorelines look to be rolling, I think we get held under 40 for the first time, by getting out-performed in the trenches. If the larger, faster front seven of FSU’s defense can add some wrinkles into their pass rush, Dungey’s going to be on the move all day and this line hasn’t shown me they can pick up stunts and twists all that well. Also Akers?
Syracuse 38, FSU 31
I’m entering Saturday with no clue what to expect. Syracuse has looked fantastic in two games against subpar competition while Florida State couldn’t move the ball against Virginia Tech and probably should have lost to Samford. FSU has the talent to be a top 25 team. They have a proven quarterback and a lighting fast running back, but they have too many questions right now. I know what Syracuse is. I know Dungey is the star of the team and the defensive line is dominant. It’s going to be close, Florida State won’t want to start off ACC play 0-2, but Dungey in the dome is too much for a team who has no identity.
Syracuse 31, FSU 28
With everything that will likely be happening in this game, I’m really interested in seeing how Syracuse’s defensive front does against the Seminoles offensive line. If SU can’t get any pressure, and I have some doubts, then this game could turn south quickly. The other point of interest will be in how Dino Babers utilizes Eric Dungey on offense. Dungey has put up some nice looking numbers, but he hasn’t exactly looked totally comfortable in terms of staying in the pocket and making a play. I would bet FSU gets on the board first, but eventually Syracuse’s defense gets just enough stops and its relentless offense wears down the ‘Noles.
Syracuse 44, FSU 41
If you like defense, don’t watch this game. I’m ready for some old school NCAA 2014 versus your roommate offense with busted plays going for huge gains and the two quarterbacks getting it done through the air and on the ground. What’s going to the be the SU winning difference? I think two factors we’ve seen so far this year play big roles. Eric Dungey looks far more comfortable in the pocket, and FSU struggles to find the right combination of blitzing/spying/coverage to minimize his effectiveness. Perhaps most importantly, versus both FSU and Wagner, Syracuse won the field position battle, utilizing excellent special teams to keep the opposition working for yards. In the end, a few stalled red zone ‘Noles possessions end up being the difference as the Orange are 3-0.
FSU 41, Syracuse 38
I don’t think Syracuse fans are wrong to pick the Orange here. This game is very winnable, and Florida State has looked extremely vulnerable through two weeks, with a decisive loss to Virginia Tech, and then a comeback win against FCS squad Samford. Syracuse should be able to put up points on what looks like a very vulnerable defense, especially through the air. I just have a hard time believing that an offense with the talent of Florida State’s is going to stay down for so long. Deondre Francois looked very good as a redshirt freshman in 2016, and entered last season with Heisman buzz before he got hurt in the season opener against Alabama. Cam Akers should be one of the most explosive running backs in the country. Unfortunately, this may be the game that, once again, gets Willie Taggart on track at a Florida school. Still, a ‘Cuse win is very, very in play. I’m just not brave enough to pick it right now.
FSU 45, Syracuse 41
Syracuse’s offense shouldn’t have a problem moving the ball based on what we’ve seen so far. But the bigger issue is what the ‘Noles are likely able to do to the Orange defense. Despite some noted O-line struggles, we’d still be banking on the sort of pressure SU has generated against Wagner and (at times) WMU. Plus, Cam Akers is a better running back than any we’ve faced so far. I think Syracuse and FSU wind up in a tight but high-scoring contest. Will give the Seminoles the victory, though, after they commit one fewer mistake than the Orange and collect the needed late score.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Florida State game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins by 10 points or more, and WE’RE NEVER GONNA LOSE AGAIN!!!!
Syracuse wins by 1-9 points, and we’re 3-0 and that’s awesome
Syracuse loses by 1-9 points, and we’ve learned some things
Syracuse loses by 10 points or more, and it’s time to reevaluate what we thought we knew