The year is 2018, and Syracuse beating Florida State doesn’t feel like an upset. Who would have thought that would be the case less than five years ago. But it accurately sums up the feelings with the Orange’s 30-7 win over the Seminoles.
The first half was unbearable. Just check Twitter. A 6-0 showing by Syracuse made you remember just how dreadful it could be to be an Orange fan. And they were winning at that point! But it still left Orange fans yearning for more. In the second half, they got just that.
Out went Dungey with an injury, in came Tommy DeVito, and ensued was the panic amongst Orange fans. The redshirt freshman entered the year just 5-for-14 on passing attempts and only 65 yards to his name. Now he had to face a Florida State defense that had shut down the Almighty Dungey for almost two quarters? What seemed like a potentially ugly upset all of a sudden looked bleak.
But then it seemed like DeVito remembered he was a 4-star recruit, an Elite 11 quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa’s roommate at camps. He even made some throws that were reminiscent of the Alabama quarterback. But what’s most important was that he got his poise back and led the only touchdown drives for the Orange all afternoon. He finished with 144 yards on 11-for-16 passing with a touchdown and one score on the ground as well. It all of a sudden made Dungey’s injury feel like a minute footnote of the game.
While the offense did just enough to get the lead in the first half, the defense was the real story. They didn’t just shut down a tandem of a Heisman-caliber quarterback and an ACC player of the year candidate running back. They dominated them. Embarrassed them. And never quit from the first drive to the last.
The pressure from the defensive line all afternoon was suffocating. The Orange finished with four sacks and put Deondre Francois on his back about five times that number.
Despite a nickel heavy set for most the game, they also contained Cam Akers to just 52 yards on the ground.
It was the complete game.
Sure there were concerns. Your Heisman candidate quarterback went out with yet another injury. There was difficulty punching the ball in at the goal line. Your kicker missed his first ever field goal.
But take the bad with the good. Syracuse is 3-0 and beat a perennial powerhouse. Sounds like a good day in central New York.