Put simply, this Syracuse team doesn’t have the talent level to compete with Florida State at this point. This Syracuse team is not an NC State or Virginia (Florida State’s last two losses in conference play), programs that have underachieved while recruited well enough to be dangerous in the right circumstances. The Orange are still adjusting to the level of play in the ACC and need at least two more years to collect more southern talent to be able to compete at this level. You can read the full scouting report for mere here.
That’s magnified all the more by the injury losses of the three best skill players on the Syracuse offense, including quarterback Terrel Hunt. Without them, the Orange will have a difficult time scoring, and the only way I see anyone beating Florida State with Winston at quarterback is to score more than 30 points.
The best chance Syracuse has to keep this one close is to shorten the game by running the football with success against a banged-up FSU defensive front. We don’t see them having much success in that department since the Orange don’t have any playmakers on the outside to keep the Seminole defense honest.
With Notre Dame around the corner and FSU’s own injury concerns, I don’t necessarily expect FSU to drop the hammer here, but with each passing week the Seminoles are getting closer to turning the corner and executing at a championship level. I’ve got Florida State winning 41-3.
Wayne McGahee III: The Syracuse football program is in as much disarray than any program in the nation. [Jason’s note: Perhaps not as much as Florida or Michigan.] Their injury list for this week is a mile long and includes starting quarterback Terrel Hunt, who threw just one touchdown pass in five games, tied for the team lead with punter Riley Dixon. Adding to that, Syracuse demoted its offensive coordinator—who had a temper tantrum about it—and the Orange don’t seem ready to play the No. 1 team in the country.
Florida State also comes in missing multiple starters on offense and defense, but the talent level between the two teams is significant. Since 2010, Syracuse has signed 67 players rated as a 2-star or below. They’ve had three total 4-star players in that span. Compare that to Florida State’s 61 4-star or higher players and you can see just how wide the difference is. Add Florida State’s outstanding coaching staff and this game could get ugly if the team shows up prepared and not looking ahead to Notre Dame. I do, however, think that there will be some look ahead for the Seminoles, but they get it together quickly and run away with a 48-9 victory.