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Amidst Winston Allegations, Syracuse Must Focus to Hang with Seminoles

 

Photo via Knox News

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The Jameis Winston sexual assault allegations have caused a media storm. The biggest question in this, aside from whether he actually did it or not, is how might it impact his play? Florida State is flirting with a national championship game and it routinely puts up more than 50 points per game. Winston plays a big part in that.

The Syracuse defense has been dynamite the past two weeks. The Orange has only allowed three points in its last two games, and if these allegations happen to get to Winston’s head, perhaps Syracuse doesn’t lose by 30-plus points.

If Syracuse wins this game, it would be a miracle. Fortunately for the Orange, miracles do happen. The defense has to be better than what it has been in the past two games, and Winston has to struggle. Syracuse only has control over its defense—not how the talented quarterback performs. If these allegations get to his head, Syracuse has a better chance. This team is going into this game with confidence, knowing it is only one win away from being bowl eligible.

Syracuse football could be bowl eligible for the second year in a row and for the third time in four years. This sounds ridiculous, considering how this team got off to a shaky start. This team is 5-4 and 3-2 in conference. Yes, there are still three games to play, but I predicted this team to go to a bowl game.  If, not when, Syracuse beats Florida State, this team is going bowling. If it loses, as many expect, there are still two more games to get that sixth win.

Not to take anything away from Terrel Hunt, but the success pretty much all season has come from the defense and the running game, specifically Jerome Smith. Smith had two touchdowns against Maryland, and the defense only allowed three points. Smith is the biggest key to this game. The Seminoles have only given up more than 17 points once this season, and that was against Boston College. This team has a pretty solid defense, but Syracuse has shown the same in the past two weeks.

Hunt’s main job is to get the Orange into the red zone. Once there, the rest is a little bit easier, but it starts with the Syracuse offensive line. If it can create holes for Smith and PTG in the red zone, Syracuse has a chance to score. The defense should focus on Winston. Don’t give him open looks, and that makes everything much easier.

I think many saw this team only at four wins by now. Five is only one more than four, but it’s also just one from a bowl game. Don’t think Syracuse is done for this game. I think the defense will be great and that the allegations will get to Winston’s head. Still, Florida State will get the win, but it’ll be somewhat close.

Florida State 35, Syracuse 24.

Posted by: Austin Pollack

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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