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Syracuse @ Florida State: Crystal Ball Predictions

John (4-0): Syracuse 24, Florida State 16

Let me preface this by saying that SU has never gone down to Doak Campbell Stadium and won a football game. With that said, those streaks of long road losing streaks are being ended this year (see Oregon State beating USC for the first time since 1960). Luckily for the ‘Cuse, FSU is just terrible. You’ve read the headlines all week, 0-4 for the first time since 1974. The Orange should topple a rather weak Seminoles team just like it did in 2018. I believe it’ll still be tight because its the first actual road test for Syracuse (no, Ohio doesn’t count).

Florida State hasn’t had much on the offensive side of the ball. McKenzie Milton has struggled to show consistency and has a QBR of 16.4 which ranks 119th in the country, woof. FSU does present a formidable rushing attack but folks this Syracuse defense is for real. Tony White’s bunch is the second best rush defense in the ACC for a reason. If the SU offense struggles to move the ball, the defense will keep this game at bay until Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker decide to get going. Give me the Orange as an underdog which is simply wild in itself.

Ian (3-1): Syracuse 31-FSU 14

Florida State football is the equivalent of driving around a fancy sports car with a massive dent and a rusted undercarriage. It used to be cool, and then someone ruined it. Mike Norvell’s team simply plays without energy, the true mark of a bad football team.

FSU is not ready for SU’s attack. The ‘Noles D-line was manhandled last weekend, giving up just one sack and allowing Malik Cunningham to do whatever he wanted. The Orange should be able to have that same success. Sterlin Gilbert just can’t rely too much on the run between the tackles.

Both teams have their quarterback controversies, but I’ll put much more trust in Sean Tucker to move the rock more than anyone on the Florida State sideline. One more thing – FSU has lost the turnover battle in all four games this year. I’d expect SU to make it five.

Matt (3-1): Syracuse 30 – FSU 24

Syracuse is riding high after a Friday night upset over Liberty. Here comes conference play, something a lot of haters are expecting SU to struggle in. The Orange open up ACC contests against Florida State. The Seminoles are quite easily the worst team in the ACC thus far. 0-4 with losses to some good teams and some not-so-good teams. The one that stands out of course is the L they took against FCS opponent, Jacksonville St. There’s some talent on this team like running back Treshaun Ward, but outside of him, this offense is in shambles. Mike Norvell looks lost, take Syracuse this weekend.

Carter (3-1): Syracuse 23, Florida State 19

Mike Norvell better be thanking the universe for Randy Edsall’s disastrous exit over at UConn. If not for the Huskies’ collapse, the current tire fire Norvell is overseeing as head coach at FSU might go down as the year’s most embarrassing effort. The ‘Noles are off to their worst start since 1974 and have been dreadful on both sides of the ball. They’re below 100th in both scoring offense and defense in the FBS. It’s fairly easy to see Syracuse romping over Florida State this Saturday, but I’d pump the brakes on blowout talk. Three of FSU’s four losses have ended up coming by just one score, and I think that may be the type of game we see this weekend.

Garrett Shrader is starting under center again, and an important thing to look for in this game is his ability to continue shaking off his rusty arm. 6 of 15 for 77 yards won’t cut it again. I see Shrader and the Orange O getting off to a slow start that keeps this game closer than it should be. Sean Tucker will carry the load again, while SU’s suddenly ferocious pass rush should be able to handle the ‘Noles offense. Show me the same team that beat Liberty last Friday, and I’ll show you a team that enters mid-October 4-1.

Cam (3-1): Syracuse 24, Florida State 20

Here’s the deal: SU should be favored to win this game! But that’s not the case and somehow, a winless team has Vegas and many other people on their side. If you’re Syracuse, that plays in your favor. The Orange can both relish in the underdog role while proving its play in the non-con portion of the schedule can translate to ACC competition. The group that’ll win this game for SU is the secondary. Although I have Sean Tucker finding the endzone twice in this ballgame, don’t be surprised if FSU quarterback Mackenzie Milton is picked at least two times this weekend. In true SU fashion, it’ll be a close game most of the way and I think both Garrett Shrader and Tommy DeVito will see reps down in Tallahassee. Overall, a sluggish first half (per the usual trend) backed up by a second half to remember heading back home to face Wake Forest.

Jaron (2-2): Syracuse 31, Florida State 16

A big person can admit when he’s wrong. So here you go – I severely undervalued the Orange this year. I’ve seen what I’ve needed to when it comes to this Syracuse team. They are pretty darn solid. The defense is legit, especially with Mikel Jones leading the linebackers and Cody Roscoe and a whole lot of veterans on the defensive line. There are still a couple questions when it comes to the offense, specifically the passing game, but Sean Tucker can carry SU extremely far as long as he stays healthy.

With all of that being said, coupled with Florida State being absolutely horrid this year makes this game an easy pick. None of the Seminoles instill fear – McKenzie Milton is average at best, Jashaun Corbin is solid but can be neutralized, and other than Jermaine Johnson there isn’t much talent on the defensive side of the ball. Turn the burner up on Mike Norvell’s hot seat because he’s about to start the season 0-5 with a major loss to Syracuse.

Brad (2-2): Syracuse 30, Florida State 17

There is no reason Syracuse shouldn’t win this game. The Orange are coming off a big win over Liberty. The Seminoles are 0-4 for the first time since 1974. FSU has the worst passing defense in the ACC, allowing 282.8 yards in the air per game. That’s the fifth worst power-five mark. But FSU’s secondary struggles leaves more questions than answers. Dino Babers said after the Liberty game, when 75% of SU’s offensive production came from the ground, that Garrett Shrader got the nod as the starting QB because of the scheme fit against the Flames. But Shrader’s 6/15 performance had Babers emphasizing that they need more production from the passing game. Even though Shrader is set to start on Saturday, it is unclear which signal caller will get the bulk of the reps. Regardless, Tony White’s defense is outstanding, and the Orange should win just because of that one side of the ball. 

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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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