There’s very little good to have come out of the 59-3 beatdown in Tallahassee for Syracuse. Here’s my knee-jerk reaction:
-We all knew this was coming, and the Seminoles delivered. Even before the season, when we had no idea just how good FSU would be, this Orange squad heading on the road to Tallahassee looked like roadkill on the schedule. Once we realized just how dominant the Noles (best team in the country?) we all knew there was no way the Orange could hang. FSU put the smack down on an inferior team.
-The sexual assault investigation apparently had no effect on the Noles and Jameis Winston. FSU showed no mercy, and seemed far from being distracted like some suggested. The Noles jumped out to a 28-0 lead, and the only question was whether SU basketball would outscore FSU football on this day (it did, 69-59).
-The Julian Whigham injury is just plain scary. He was taken off on a stretcher and Durrell Eskridge said after the game JW was bleeding from the mouth. Luckily SU put out a statement saying Julian was improving, but the injury was bleeding from the abdomen. That’s a frightening sentence to read no matter who you root for.
-Syracuse has to have a short memory. This was a splattering in every way, so now it’s up to the Orange not to let it hang over the season. Two winnable games remain to get to bowl eligibility. Two home games, Pitt next week and then BC. SU should let it all hang out against the Panthers. The Eagles are a much improved team from a year ago. Steve Addazio certainly has BC playing inspired, improved football. Syracuse doesn’t want bowl eligibility to have to come down to the final week of the season. Wrap it up against Pitt.
-Which stat sums up the blowout best? Hard to pick just one, but how about the fact SU was 6-18 on third downs, while FSU was 1-4. Yeah, read that again. Florida State put up 59 points, tallied 20 first downs, gained over 500 yards of total offense… and only had to face third down four times. The Noles offense was so brutally efficient it did all of its damage on 1st and 2nd downs.
-Clearly the Orange is not even in the same stratosphere as the Noles, but that FSU team sure has the look of a national champion. Alabama deserves another crack at the BCS title if it can survive the Iron Bowl against a resurgent Auburn squad. But the Noles will be a tough matchup for the Tide searching for its third straight crystal bowl.