Today the Syracuse Orange took on the Florida State Seminoles. We can cut to the chase. Today was not a good day. The Seminoles moved the ball at will and the Orange barely eeked out 100 yards of offense for the entire game, leading to the eventual Florida State win, 38 to 3. The Orange move to 6-4 on the season, with two remaining games, both on the road, to Wake Forest and Boston College.
This game marked the return of Garrett Shrader, though he still did not appear at full throttle on the day. Shrader looked to maintain a bit more pocket presence in the first series, and had decent pressure, but succumbed to a coverage sack. Jordan Travis and a company showed a little mix of everything, marching into the redzone. Travis took a QB keeper in to give the Seminoles the 7-0 advantage capping a 72 yard, 8 play drive.
The Orange offense looked anemic through the first three drives, while the defense was able to bail them out. All said and done, the Seminoles were able to use Mycah Pittman to do whatever they needed to in the slot against the coverage. Ultimately it was a quick screen to Malik McLain one on one with true freshman Jeremiah Wilson, and the Seminoles were up 14-0 near the end of the first quarter.
Syracuse opened the second with a continuation of the first explosive drive they were able to put together all day. Tucker broke his first and only big run and looked for a second the Tucker of old. Shrader even strung together a few passes but the offense still couldn’t bang it home, letting Andre Szmyt put the Orange on the board 14-3 in his final home game of his record breaking Syracuse career.
The Syracuse offense was once again gifted a short field that they couldn’t take advantage. In what has become a recurring theme this year, the offense went three and out, with a surprise Andre Szmyt miss from 53 yards. In fact nothing about the Syracuse offense (or defense) worked much for the rest of the half, with the Orange wracking up a total of 61 yards on 26 plays in the half. On the flip side, the Seminoles took advantage of an outsized and outmatched defense, working runs up the middle and passes to the sideline to hammer some of the Orange depth issues. The Syracuse defense was able to stem the bleeding and stalled the Seminoles out at the half, forcing the field goal to head to the locker rooms 24-3.
The Orange, who had elected to receive the opening kick attempted an onside to open the second. FSU quickly punched the ball in to extend the lead to 31-3. They continued to move the ball in five yard or more chunks against a banged up Syracuse defense. Ja’Had Carter leaving the game on crutches didn’t help the cause either. The exhausted and injured defense, combined with the offense looking less than listless made for a second half continuing a trend that the Orange will want to forget.
For some reason Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker continued to play for the remainder of the third quarter into the fourth, with the game already out of reach. The remainder of the fourth was more of a rinse/repeat, with questionable Orange plays and the defense being hung out to dry without a break. Jordan Travis actually finished the game with more touchdown passes than he had incompletions. The last play of the game, a miscommunicated run on a quick snap that instead had time run out to end the game was a bit of a microcosm of the entire evening.
Despite the rest of the dismal attempt at an offense, Sean Tucker did pass Larry Conka for fourth on the all time rushing yards list at Syracuse. He finished the day with 14 carries for 61 yards. Shrader finished 6 of 16 for 65 yards on the day. This was . The second string didn’t make it into the game until the last drive, with LeQuint Allen also grabbing 38 yards on 6 attempts.
The defense, for all the time they were on the field did what they could, Jason Simmons standing out on the day, with eight tackles, six solo, and a TFL. Marlowe Wax and Mikel Jones each added five and a sack, and a number of players finished with six on the day. They were on the field almost double the time the Orange offense was, and it showed by the end, though the team kept plugging.
The Orange have to turnaround and hit the road for a trip to Winston-Salem, visiting Wake Forest for another 8pm kickoff next Saturday.