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Fizz Five: Syracuse Puts FSU Beating Behind It, Focus Turns to Bowl Eligibility

Fizz Five: what we learned from FSU’s walloping of Syracuse, and getting that bowl-eligible win with two home games left.

Photo via Tallahassee.com

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The no. 2 Seminoles may have handed the Orange an expected whooping Saturday 59 – 3 at Doak Campbell Stadium, but Syracuse knows its biggest challenges are before it. The nation’s second-highest scoring offense accumulated over 500 total yards and controlled the entire game. Florida State officially ran the table in the ACC with the win and sets itself up very nicely for a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game. As for Syracuse, Scott Shafer and company understand the Noles are on a completely different level than most teams—not just in the conference, but in the entire country:

“That’s one of the best football teams I’ve seen in my 23 years coaching. Most positive thing I get out of this is now we know where the bar is set and what we need to try to do in the next few years to try and compete against a team of this caliber.”

Shafer added in his post-game presser the importance of the Orange’s finish to the season:

 “We’ve got two games left in the Dome, and that’s key. We’ve got to get this Pitt outfit in the Dome and go to war right away. It’s going to be a big game for both sides, and we look forward to jumping ahead to that game as quick as possible.”

This coming Saturday features a pair of 5-5 teams with bowl hopes on the line. We know how ugly the weekend was for Syracuse, and what fans want to really know is how the team plans to rebound. Strap into the Fizz Five now to learn how Syracuse has the road to get back to its previous success.

 

Syracuse No Longer Faces Any Top Quarterbacks

Just when we thought Tajh Boyd would be the only national name the Orange had to prepare for, Syracuse got a taste of Jameis Winston. The freshman star did indeed suit up despite rumored allegations against him earlier this week, and Winston didn’t miss a beat. He finished with 277 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-21 passing. Winston was actually pulled in the third quarter, when the Noles’ lead was to 38-0. Both Clemson and FSU have dynamic, explosive offenses from top to bottom, but it all starts with the man under center. The fact Shafer and Chuck Bullough don’t have to prepare for a quarterback with a similar body of work must be a relief.

 

Young Guns Emerge in Ground Game

It wasn’t the Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley show over the weekend. George Morris II and Devante McFarlene led the Syracuse running game as best as they could. GMII rushed a career-high 21 times for his own best 67 yards. McFarlene tallied a new personal record of 81 yards on the gridiron. You can’t read too far into at the end of the day when the ball failed to progress downfield for Syracuse, but this is great for developing confidence. Smith got just five touches and PTG left the game and did not return due to a lower-body injury. Smith hit on being beat post-game:

“We played a damn good football team. They’re No. 2 in the country for a reason. We didn’t do enough; they did what they were supposed to do. They were faster than we thought. They were stronger than we thought. They were good.”

Smith’s limited reps should give him some fresh legs for Pitt this week. Gulley may be a different story. Credit Shafer and George McDonald for getting the younger guys out there to break some tackles so they’re ready to be called upon as the season comes to a close.

 

Syracuse Defense Should Remain Confident

Florida State has scored at least 41 points on every team it has played this season. It’s the first ACC team ever to score at least 40 points in 10 straight games. It may be tough to recall that this same SU defense had allowed just 3 points in the last three weeks prior to playing FSU. Syracuse has to stay hungry and confident on defense. It’s been the team’s motor all season. Defensive lineman Jay Bromley spoke highly of Florida State:

 “They’re stacked across the board. They’re probably as fast as we’re ever going to see on the college level. They’re a solid football team. If you can’t score the ball, you can’t play with this team. You really have to be sound on defense and try not to give up the big play. And, offensively, you have to force them to stop you.”

 

Two Shots, One Opportunity

Syracuse has two shots and one opportunity to go bowling this season. A pair of games slated at the Dome sets up the season’s end nicely for the Orange. It has to be careful as Pittsburgh comes in this week hungry for that sixth win. QB Terrel Hunt played for only the first half of the game Saturday. Even he, despite being outmatched once again in the quarterback battle, has moved on from the loss.

“It would be more of a bruised ego if we lost to a team we were better than, but we lost to a better team. You accept it, you move on. … We want to go 2-0 in these next ones.”

Hunt’s words stand out because he’s not just focused on getting one win. He has the mindset to win both and get to seven wins. Good to hear those types of words from a young quarterback who’s been criticized since his better performances early in the season.

 

Pitt Is No Slouch

Again, the Panthers are coming in at the .500 mark as well searching for a bowl clincher as well. Syracuse has had recent success against Pitt. It got its first Big East win last year against these Panthers. Head coach Paul Chryst has a tested bunch. Even though they are coming off an ugly loss to UNC, Pitt hung with Notre Dame a few weeks back. The Syracuse mindset, without a doubt, is to get that sixth win. Boston College comes in after the Thanksgiving holiday with a monster RB in Andre Williams. Will Syracuse go bowling after this coming weekend’s results? We’ll wait and see.

 

Posted by: Brendan Glasheen

19 Comments on this Post

  1. Indeed the next two weeks(games)are going to be tough for the orange. Both should be barn burners.

  2. Need one win in the next two games…both of which are at HOME, in order to go bowling. It is right there for the Cuse…..Can’t blame anyone but ourselves..if we lose both games. We will now see what this team is made of.

  3. With HUNT as SU’s starting QB he has shown against decent talent he’ll blow up and take the team with him. The “D” has to have its “GAME OF THE YEAR” against Pitt in order to beat Pitt. HUNT surely won’t do it!! BC is riding high now and SU won’t beat them either. SU needs a full house in order to show up for both of these games!! I’ll be there for both games!! How about you???

    Pitt just got a verbal from a decent RB from Illinois!! They have 19 verbals already. I don’t understand that at all. They are not that much better than SU!! While HCSS sits on his hands and waits. He didn’t want the Clemson game as a show case for SU!! WHY?????? Well right now Rutgirls is ranked #28, PSU #30,BC #36, PITT #40, Cinny #41 and CUSE a mind rattling #62!!!!!!! All of these programs are SU’s main competion for talent in the NE. Hell we all know SU gets the crumbs from the southern states in talent after the SEC and ACC pick up the plums from these southern states and rightly so!! I hope HCSS and his staff know what they are doing. Please anyone out there lets us know “WHO” showing up(if any) at these two remaning games. If HCSS sticks to his plan of not show casing the DOME he needs to explain it better than he already has. A ranked (to me)class in the low 50’s for SU is a must in order to move on decently in the ACC. Lower than that and SU will be fighting for 5/6 wins a year for years to come. And some relenting bitching on my part as well. For once I’d like to stick up for this program, but the facts show for years it just doesn’t want success. The lack of info/concern for the new facilities coming shows that. The Melo Center didn’t work out like this???

    Express beat them recruiters-Aquinas!!

    Do not forget the PSABUSEDU kids!! The NCAA did!!

  4. OrangeCrush27

    Terry, the one thing that you have to remember about where Syracuse stands in recruiting are two factors:

    1) ‘Cuse went through the death penalty with GRob at the helm. These other schools were striving forward while ‘Cuse was dropping off the map.

    2) Losing Marrone cost use 3-5 recruits last year while Syracuse was starting to pick up steam in the right direction. Whi knows where or what we would have for recruits this year if Marrone had stayed.

    It’s going to take some more time and winning records to pull in top talent.

  5. Boring recruits if dougie stayed!! That’s my biggest bitch is what you mentioned. No forward movement really at all since the Coach P firing!! We’ll see this season to. But I do not see a winning season. .500 season to me is not a winning season. Maybe to some its great, but to me is nothing to write home to mom about!!

  6. Lets not get too worked up about recruiting ranking until NLOI day Terry!We might losr 1 or 2 more guys but pick up 8 or 10 higher rated guys.With RU maybe changing coaches we might reap the whirlwind?On a more pressing immediate concern lets beat Pitt this time cause I don’t want to sweat it out till Thanksgiving choking on my turkey worrying about bowl eligibility!Pitt is the more winnable game in my eyes at this point!BC seems too be on a Jesuit mission to shut us up? I would love to shove it down their throats to go with their cranberry sauce!!

  7. @Russell Dangerfield;

    Hey old buddy,what’s got you all fired up? Just to let you know Russell I agree with the last part of your post”I would love to shove it down their throats to go with their cranberry sauce”!!

    Old habit’s never die,do they? Hahahahahahah.

  8. @Russell Dangerfield;

    Russell the more I read and listen to the reports coming out of Rutgers about the players getting bullied,seems like you hit the nail on the head when you told us all about the problems they were facing.

    This Tyree kid is the second to come forward and is rumored to be leaving/transferring from the team after the season is completed.

  9. RUSS we are not going to get higher at all. We might lose our only 4 star and pick up 2 2 stars that’s the same ole same old!! Russ- SU is NOT IN THE RUNNING for any of the Rutgirls decommits!! So I don’t see where you get off saying SU will get HIGHER rated players. It won’t now and if SU gets beat by PITT and BC it will get worse!! SU has to beat PITT just to stay in the 60’s after the first Wednesday in Febuary 2014!! Social media and other competing programs are killing SU about its average to poor record for 2013 and the 3 blow outs as well. The only way for SU to get quality talent in at SU is to give starting playing time for a number of incoming Freshmen!! But HCSS won’t do that!!

  10. Guys, tell me about it with shutting up the “Dudes”. My wife is a BC grad and I can’t wait to see how this game turns, but I need the win bad, bowl eligible or not. On the recruiting front, I think I mentioned that we won’t get many or even any RU de-commits, but that it might swing the undecideds who are considering both schools. I have seen a positive uptick from Hallmon and Hudson to name two. I have also seem that RU is nervous as they have been making a lot of calls and letter writing campaigns based on what I am seeing on Twitter. There are a few ’15 NJ linemen that we have talked with that are interested in both and this can maybe swing them too (I think one OL from Union City was up at a camp, and there’s the one DL Russ mentioned in my back yard at Scotch Plains Fanwood). A coaching change would really put things in a spin. The real point is that this could be an opportunity to tip the scales in the other direction for future recruiting in NJ (which Rodney Williams recently mentioned has the 6th most players in the NFL, so you can see the value of locking it down if we can). I think there will be a big turn out for the ND game. I acknowledge there will be a large ND turnout, and they have a lot of sway with the Catholics, which dominate NJ HS FB, but it further cements our footprint in the region.

  11. Terry,you and Ron are both great fans but complete opposite’s in mentality!!Ron see’s the glass half filled and you see it half empty while I fall in the middle (hopefully optimistic but real)!! Malone seem’s like me but a little more optimistic(probably due to being an alum??)!I think we all balance each other out and give a fair picture of where we stand as a program/fanbase!! Fortunately we do it w/o resorting to JB like attacks on each other!Thats why I tell Ron.. who really cares what JB thinks?Why let the great ugliness he brings to the site in his childish way get us down? I also enjoy Carlton and mademans honesty here with their opinions as all together they make this a unique site!!OK guys…as you were!!

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