Day & Time: Saturday, October 26, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
Extended Forecast: High of 85, 20% chance of precipitation
Line: Florida State -10.5
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3, SirusXM: Home - XM Streaming 970, Road -XM 193 (Streaming 955)
FSU blog: Tomahawk Nation
Rivalry: Florida State, 10-2
Current Streak: 1, Syracuse
First Meeting: Some dude named Floyd Little ran for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Orange defeated FSU 37-21. The Orange amassed 368 total yards, with 337 coming on the ground.
Last Meeting: Ahh, happier times. The Orange, defeated Florida State 30-7, behind Tommy DeVito, who replaced an injured Eric Dungey. DeVito ran and threw for scores, and Dino did what Dino does best.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Dino Babers (4th Year, 21-23) | FSU - Willie Taggart (2nd Year, 8-11)
Coach Bio: Taggart’s a Bradenton, Fla. native, but wound up playing quarterback for Western Kentucky from 1994-98. He stuck around WKU until 2006, then headed west to Stanford where he served as running backs coach for three seasons. Taggart proved enough there to earn the head job at his alma mater and after dragging the Hilltoppers to a bowl in 2012, he was hired by USF. Things were rough for the first two years with the Bulls, but he’d go 8-5 in 2015 and then 10-2 in 2016. That earned him the Oregon job, which he left after one season to take the FSU gig.
Last Year: The tires came off in Taggart’s first season, thanks to some terrible offensive line play. The Seminoles won three ACC games, with only their home win over Wake Forrest coming by more than five points. Finishing 5-7 and missing a bowl, the morale around the program was made even worse by a whooping at the hands of Florida.
Last Game: The Demon Deacons got revenge versus FSU, winning at home, 22-20. The ‘Noles were up 20-19 with 11 minutes to go in the 4th, but couldn’t extend their lead. Wake would kick a field goal with four minutes remaining and hold on for the win.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Remember Cam Akers? The guy who had 199 yards and 2 touchdowns the last time the Orange played at Doak Campbell? He’s still at FSU and easily the best offensive player for the ‘Noles. He’ll be fed early and often, and look to replicate that performance, instead of last year’s where he was stifled for 52 yards.
If Syracuse Wins: ‘Cuse probably gets Taggart’s seat too hot to maintain, and the Orange have a chance to salvage something from this year.
If Syracuse Loses: We’e going to see even more fans jumping ship, getting those basketball jerseys out.
Fun Fact 1: This is the second time this season that two African American head coaches will square off in a game involving the Orange, meaning we’ve seen 33% of those P5 coaches (3/9) this season.
Fun Fact 2: (From John last year, and probably all the more interesting considering Taggart’s hot seat right now.) Syracuse is probably the reason why Taggart is Florida State’s head coach right now. Willie was on the hot seat at USF when a 3-1 Syracuse team came to town in 2015, and there was talk that a loss to the Orange could have canned him (the Bulls were just 7-21 under him at the time). South Florida stomped SU, 45-24 and never looked back. Taggart won 18 games between 2015 and 2016, which led him to Oregon, and then FSU.