We know Syracuse Orange fans enjoy when we can get some perspective from the opponent’s side. This week we had Perry Kostidakis from Tomahawk Nation give us some insight on this game from the Florida State Seminoles’ perspective.
TNIAAM: Florida State had a three-game losing streak like the Orange are on now, but have erupted for over 40 points the last two weeks, what’s been the biggest difference in the offense the last two games?
TN: It’s been Florida State being able to turn explosive plays into points — the Seminoles have been able to rack up chunk plays (they lead the nation in 20+ yards plays) but have struggled to convert in short yardage or goal-to go situations and saw that production go to waste. Also, Georgia Tech and Miami are not particularly good, so that helps, but credit, where credit is due as those, those are both pretty decent defenses.
TNIAAM: Jordan Travis has thrown for 17 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions this season. It’s a career high for him and is it that he’s more comfortable in Norvell’s offense or is it the addition of a weapon like Johnny Wilson?
TN: It’s weird to think about, since he’s been around since Willie Taggart’s tenure, but Travis has barely logged a season’s worth of game experience at Florida State. He battled for playing time his first two years under Norvell and was hampered due to injuries, but a full offseason plus a serviceable receiving corps and a sturdy offensive line has really helped him elevate his game.
TNIAAM: On the subject of impact transfers, are FSU fans surprised by the impact of Albany transfer Jared Verse? We saw him with Albany last year and couldn’t believe a FCS player could be that dominant.
TN: I think some would argue and say they saw it coming, but just how good he has been has been a surprise. Jermaine Johnson II, now a New York Jet, was the Seminoles’ star defensive end transfer last year and set a pretty high bar but Verse, through both production and locker room presence, has been a major addition.
TNIAAM: Who should Syracuse fans keep an eye out for on the Seminoles defense?
TN: Fabien Lovett is maybe the biggest impact player on the defense outside of Verse, and regardless of stat sheet numbers should play a major part in any possible FSU success on that side of the ball on Saturday. Patrick Payton on the line has come alive in recent weeks, and Kalen DeLoach has really excelled at linebacker this season. In the secondary, safety Jammie Robinson is the main difference maker.
TNIAAM: Recent opponents have been able to run on the thinned-out Syracuse defensive line. Do you expect the Seminoles to attack with multiple running backs this week?
TN: It’s really, really unfortunate on Syracuse’s end that that’s been the case, because FSU has maybe one of the deepest running back rooms in the country. Treshaun Ward has been out with an injury but healthy enough to dress out in case he needed to be used, but Trey Benson and Lawrance Toafili have more than picked up the slack — and even when Ward was healthy, there was a steady rotation of the three to utilize each back’s skillset.
TNIAAM: How do you see this game playing out?
TN: Florida State seems like a team that is rolling — but the last time that appeared to be the case, the Seminoles lost three straight games. If FSU has really turned the corner and figured out how to not get in its own way, then that paired with Syracuse, unfortunately, hitting a rough point in the season should equal out to a comfortable FSU win. FSU does have the “make things really silly” gene still inside it, so the possibility of weird game is not out of the question.
Thanks again to Perry and be sure to check out Tomahawk Nation for more on Florida State.