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The Fizz Predicts Syracuse and Florida State

Tyler Aki (5-3): Syracuse 33 Florida State 20

This is going to be a fun one for the Orange. Dino Babers has been superb off the bye week, especially in his second year as a head coach. This team has been dinged up all year with injuries, but with the expected returns of Kendall Coleman and Scoop Bradshaw, SU should look even better than it already has on that side. Florida State seems checked out at this point, and Syracuse looks the exact opposite. This is one of the most passionate SU teams that I have ever seen, and it starts with Eric Dungey. He’s going to have a field day against a reeling FSU unit.

David Edelstein (5-3): Syracuse 35-14

After seeing the Seminoles get clobbered by Boston College 35-3 last week, chances of the Seminoles beating the Orange disappeared. Sports-reference.com says Florida State has the easiest schedule of FBS teams this season, yet the Seminoles are only 2-5. This is not the Florida State football team we are used to. After the season-ending injury to Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois, Florida State simply disintegrated. But Syracuse absolutely cannot go into this game thinking it is an easy football game. We’ve seen what happened when teams cane to the Carrier Dome thinking SU was an easy victory, and it turned out to be an Orange win. Syracuse needs to go into this game ready to play and set the momentum coming off of a bye week. Even with Francois out, the Seminoles have still relied heavily on the pass to move the ball. Quarterback James Blackman has thrown for 1,149 yards this season compared to a rushing attack that features two backs for less than 1,000 yards combined. Against a surprisingly talented Syracuse defense that has exceeded expectations this year, Florida State would have to find a way to get the ball down the field with its primary pass attack if it wants success against the Orange, but thats a tough challenge. The Orange needs to play as if the season depends on this game—even against a suffering opponent—because it does. The Orange should come in and play at the level we now know it can as of late and play a solid game on the road. This will add one to the ‘W’ column—a fifth win that is one more than SU had over the past two seasons, still with three games after this one in the regular season.

JD Raucci (6-2): Syracuse 27 Florida State 21
If you would have told me at the beginning of this season that I’d be picking SU to knock Florida State in Tallahassee, I would have looked at you like you had ten heads. Coming into the season, FSU was ranked third in the country and had a Heisman contender in Deondre Francois patrolling the offense. Then Alabama happened. Francois went down with an injury in the third quarter of the opening game and the Seminoles haven’t been the same since. 2-5 on the season and coming off an ugly 35-3 loss to Boston College last week, Jimbo Fischer and company are reeling and I think SU is getting them at the perfect time. The season is a lost cause and it seems like they just don’t really care. While the defense has been pretty good for FSU, it’s been the offense that has fallen apart without Francois. The Noles are ranked 114th out of 128 teams in the country in yards per game and an even more abysmal 123rd in scoring offense. They mustered just a field goal against a Boston College defense that, statistically, is not as good as Syracuse’s. I just don’t see them being able to move the ball all that effectively on what has been a very stout SU team. I think the defense will keep things close for FSU on Saturday, but eventually, that atrocious offense will catch up with them, SU will move to above .500 and Florida State will start an unthinkable 0-5 at home this season.
Tim Leonard (5-3): Florida State 28 Syracuse 21
Florida State has given me no reason to pick them this week but I’m doing it anyways. After getting pummeled by BC, FSU is going to return home with a lot to prove. Jimbo Fisher’s squad will be hungry from the opening whistle and do everything in its power to avoid dropping to 0-5 at home this year. The Orange has been the better team all season but the Seminoles still have way more speed on both sides of the ball. On top of that, SU’s secondary is really banged up and Syracuse’s offense doesn’t travel on the road well. I’ll take a motivated team with the home-field and talent advantage any day of the week.
Jonathon Hoppe (2-1): Florida State 24 Syracuse 21

All signs say Syracuse is the better team in this one. The only problem? SU hasn’t won a road game all season long. Even though Florida State has been miserable at times this year, I don’t expect that to change. Last week’s performance against Boston College was an outlier for FSU. Even though Florida State is just 2-5 on the season, four of its five losses have been by single digits. The Seminoles are experiencing an all-time low right now and it’s hard for me to see it getting much worse them. Florida State is 0-4 at home this season, but I expect the Seminoles to get their first win in their home state on Saturday. FSU has too much on the line this week for it to lose to Syracuse. It’s hard for me to see a Jimbo Fisher coached team fall to 2-6 overall and 0-5 at home this season. Besides, it’s not like Syracuse has the element of surprise on its side. The Seminoles know the Orange is capable of beating them, especially after how poorly they played last week in Chestnut Hill. This is a great opportunity for Syracuse to get its first road win of the season, but I don’t see it happening.

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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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