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Syracuse football: Another slow start dooms the Orange as they fall to No. 4 Florida State 41-3

Half of the team played fairly well, while the other did next to nothing.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange came in as massive underdogs this afternoon, and those projections stood up as SU was outplayed by the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles in a 41-3 loss.

SU’s offense struggled to get anything going in the first quarter, beginning the afternoon in Tallahassee with a three-and-out.

The Seminoles’ first possession was the complete opposite: a nine-play, 80-yard drive featuring both a spectacular one-handed catch by Keon Coleman and a finishing rush up the gut by Jordan Travis.

Alijah Clark forced a fumble during the drive, but the defense couldn’t get to the ball in time and FSU recovered.

Syracuse v Florida State Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

The Orange were also unable to do anything with their next two drives, with Garrett Shrader completing just one pass in the first 15, but the Mob defense did their part to keep ‘Cuse in the game. FSU went three-and-out in their second set and were held to three points in the next.

With nothing working through the air, SU started to feed LeQuint Allen in the 2nd quarter, and at least for one drive, they generated enough momentum to get into field goal range. Brady Denaburg drilled it from 37 yards out to make the score 10-3.

Allen had the best offensive performance by far, rushing for over 100 yards and also catching three passes for another 16.

Florida State answered back with a 58-yard strike from Jordan Travis to Coleman, who beat Isaiah Johnson in man coverage on the outside.

Despite some good moments by the defense, such as a 4th down stop at the five, they couldn’t carry this game themselves, and the score stood at 17-3 at the half.

There were no second-half adjustments to be found on offense, as after another stop by Rocky Long’s unit, Jason Beck’s outfit couldn’t take advantage.

Travis added another rushing touchdown in the 3rd quarter, finishing with 284 passing yards and three total scores.

With the score 24-3, Dino Babers made a very questionable decision on a 4th and 6 deep inside opposing territory. When the Orange needed to play four-down football for any chance at staying in the game, he instead elected to run out the field goal unit.

Even if Denaburg made the kick (he missed wide left), it would have remained a three-possession game. Just don’t understand the logic there.

Coleman also continued his big day in the second half with a huge 72-yard punt return, putting the ‘Noles in prime position to add to their lead. He finished with over 200 all-purpose yards in the dominant Florida State win.

Babers all but threw in the towel by the 4th quarter, subbing in Carlos Del Rio-Wilson for the struggling Shrader. Garrett finished a meager 9/21 for 99 yards, with negative rushing yards. CDRW went 2/9 for 29 in his limited game action, but by that point, a comeback was out of the question.

With many players still banged up, and the three-game gauntlet behind them, SU’s bye week couldn’t come at a better time.