With a 7-3 record, the Florida State Seminoles are out of the ACC Championship race. The only thing that the Seminoles have to look forward to is the bowl season and a season finale against their rivals, the Florida Gators. It’s easy to imagine that FSU would overlook an opponent like Syracuse, who only have a 4-6 record. Despite their record, Syracuse has already pulled off a big upset when they beat Virginia Tech back in Week 7.
Coach Fisher isn’t looking past the Orange
Coach Fisher has already been hard at work preparing for Syracuse. During Thursday’s practice, Fisher talked about how the team needs to take their preparations from practice and turn it into four complete quarters of football. This college football season has already been marred with upsets. So a coach warning his team to focus on execution, especially for an away game, needs to be received with extra precaution from players.
It seems like common sense for a team to worry about execution for a conference opponent, but for FSU it might be more difficult when they see Florida on the schedule for next week. Both FSU and Florida have underperformed by their program’s standards. A win in this interstate rivalry could end up being the highlight of the season for either team. When Fisher was asked if the game with Florida is making it hard to focus on Syracuse, the coach said that next week’s game had no effect on practice at all. Coach Fisher went as far as to say, “Nobody has even mentioned Florida.”
Some stats to keep an eye on…
Dalvin Cook needs just 19 yards to break Warrick Dunn's career rushing record: https://t.co/gGDFzkpZDy pic.twitter.com/lNdGOKN6pD
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) November 16, 2016
The biggest area for FSU to worry about against Syracuse is stopping the Orange’s passing attack. Syracuse is 12th in the country in passing yards per game. The star for the Orange this year has been senior receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, who is 6th in the country in receiving yards (1,246). The Seminoles are going to try to counter Syracuse’s passing attack with the 78th ranked passing defense.
However, there is a reason that FSU is a 21-point favorite over Syracuse. Junior running back Dalvin Cook has helped the offense score 34.7 points per game. On the flip side, Syracuse has one of the worst scoring defenses in college football. They’re giving up 34.2 points per game (ranked 106th). It’s hard to imagine Syracuse keeping FSU off the scoreboard.
Down to our third-string running back…
Dalvin Cook had his break-out game at Syracuse.#DC4 ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/51tmhzP7Fe
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) November 17, 2016
Side note: An FSU win will give the Seminoles eight wins on the season. The last time FSU won less than eight games in a season was 1986.