ACC Record: 1-2
Record vs. FSU: 1-7
Head Coach Scott Shafer
Head Coaching Record: 13-19 (All at Syracuse)
ACC Record: 6-13
Record Against FSU: 0-2
WR Steve Ishmael: 25 catches for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Ishmael isn't the flashiest guy out there, but he uses his size very well. He has outstanding hands and body control, and is one of the best receivers in the country at high pointing the football. The matchup between Ishmael and Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey will be fun to watch on Saturday.
QB Eric Dungey: 79-122 for 1020 yards, 11 TDs, and 3 INTs. 65 rushes for 260 yards and 3 TDs.
Dungey has been thrown in the fire this year after coming on for the injured Terrell Hunt. He has performed very well and become one of the best players on their offense.
WR Brisly Estime: 13 catches for 231 yards and 2 TDs. Averaging 20.63 yards per punt return with 1 TD. Averaging 22 yards per kickoff return.
Estime is the Syracuse utility players. He does a little bit of everything. He's an excellent return man, and the second leading receiver on the Syracuse roster.
DE Ron Thompson: 18 tackles, 5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup.
Thompson leads the Orange in sacks and forced fumbles, and is second on the team in tackles for loss. He has good size at 6-foot-4, 268-pounds, and will be a very tough task for a struggling Florida State offensive line.
Wayne McGahee III:
This game has all the makings of a trap game. The Seminoles are coming off a devastating loss to Georgia Tech. It's the week before Clemson. At least three starters out for the game, including Dalvin Cook, along with a number of other injuries. The game is at noon. The list goes on and on. Still, this Florida State team is more talented across the board than Syracuse and I think that will weigh out in the end.
On offense the Seminoles will need to find their passing game again. The Syracuse run defense is very underrated. They've gone up against some of the top running backs in the country, and that has skewed their ranking. The two healthy running backs Florida State has haven't had much playing time this season. This could be a game where some of the young receivers, that have been struggling to get healthy, are able to break out and make an impact.
On Defense the Seminoles will need to contain Dungey. He's not the fastest guy in the world, but he has enough shiftiness to cause issues in open space. The Florida State defense has been prone to give up a big play or two each game, but overall have been the strength of the team. I think that continues on Saturday, and Florida State gets the win 31-17.
FSU is banged up on both sides of the football, and Cook’s absence is obviously huge given how much the Noles have depended on him all season. Fortunately for the Seminoles, Syracuse has been fairly toothless this season since offering a challenge to LSU earlier in the season, making this an excellent opportunity for FSU’s young talent to get its feet wet. Expect to see more youth on the field than at any other point this season, leading to another uneven performance. But also look for more big plays as Maguire pushes the ball downfield a bit more than Golson has on the year and the Syracuse secondary continues to struggle against speed. The Syracuse offense brings more option football to Tallahassee a week after FSU’s loss to Georgia Tech, and the Orange are likely to be able to hold onto the football a bit in this game, though I don’t think they’ll have much success actually converting chances to points. Despite how banged up they are, FSU continues to have an overall advantage on both lines in this one and should wear down the Orange over the course of four quarters. I’ve got FSU winning the game, pulling away in the second half after struggling early, 34–13.