FSU/SYR Game Notes

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In a relief role against Clemson and subsequent start against North Carolina, FSU quarterback Wyatt Sexton ignited to the Seminoles to quick bursts of offense. Sexton found the going a little tougher against the Syracuse secondary Saturday night. The Seminoles managed just three points on their first six drives, punting three times and turning the ball over during that span, as well.

With the Orange defense implicaton an effective zone coverage scheme, Sexton was forced to look to his backfield for targets. He completed just three passes to his receiving corps in the first half – all to senior Craphonso Thorpe.

The Seminoles were, however hampered by a pair of drops and an overthrow by Sexton on a pass intended for a wide-open Dominic Robinson who had gotten behind coverage.


The opportunity to play a non-traditional opponent did involve a few sacrifices for Seminoles. FSU traveled over 2,600 miles roundtrip via charter, making the foray the team's longest since it traveled to Tempe, Ariz. to take on Tennessee for the national championship in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl. The charter was expected to land in Tallahassee at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning on its return trip.

Team equipment managers also kept busy. In preparation for the team's first regular season game on artificial turf since 1993, managers shipped 100 pairs of indoor cleats to upstate New York before walk-thrus Friday afternoon.

Coming into the contest, the Seminoles were 8-7 all-time in domed stadiums with Bowden leading them to a 7-3 record indoors. Their five prior appearances had been in Sugar Bowl games at the Louisiana Superdome.


‘Cuse has had success against a Florida team on Homecoming night in the past. In 1991, the No. 21 Orange surprised the fifth-ranked Florida Gators 38-21 much to the delight of a standing-room only crowd. That season was the first on the sidelines for current Orange coach Paul Pasqualoni and former UF coach Steve Spurrier


With the win, the Seminoles will likely gain a considerable boost in the polls come Monday.

Three top-ten teams in the Associated Press poll went down in defeat before the No. 8 Seminoles took the field against the Orange. Just seconds before kickoff, No. 3 Georgia was upset by Tennessee 19-14. Earlier in the afternoon, fifth-ranked Texas was shut out by Oklahoma and No. 7 Cal fell to top-ranked USC.


Though the teams had not met since 1991 prior to Saturday, there were a few ties between them.

Tallahassee Godby High product Landel Bembo reintroduced himself to his hometown Seminoles by breaking off a 32-yard run on a reverse on SU's opening drive. The rush was the first of the wide receiver's career. Sophomore cornerback Marcus Clayton, who also went to Godby was one of five other Florida natives on the Syracuse roster.

SU defensive coordinator Steve Dunlap played under Bowden at West Virginia from 1973-75 with Bowden leading the Mountaineers to an appearance in the 1975 Peach Bowl.

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