Orange gain respect

Eyebrows went up when Syracuse scheduled eighth-ranked Florida State as its homecoming opponent. It almost worked out great.

The improving Orange actually led 10-3 until the 2:41 mark of the third quarter and ultimately dropped a 17-13 decision to the Seminoles on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse (3-3) had a chance to win the game in the final minute, but quarterback Perry Patterson's pass was intercepted in the end zone with five seconds remaining. Patterson completed 19 of 28 passes for a career-high 207 yards and a touchdown.

Leon Washington's two second-half touchdowns rallied Florida State to the victory.

Orange running back Walter Reyes rushed for just 27 yards on 14 carries, but reeled in six receptions for 51 yards. His backup, Damien Rhodes, managed only minus-7 yards on seven carries after burning Rutgers for 102 yards a week earlier.

Syracuse was out-gained 258-58 on the ground. The Orange have lost 17 straight games when rushing for less than 100 yards.

Syracuse will take the week off before traveling to West Virginia (4-1) on Oct. 21. The Orange are 1-0 in Big East play.

NOTES, QUOTES

GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Perry Patterson -- The sophomore appears to have wrested the starting job from freshman Joe Fields. Patterson completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for a career-high 207 yards and one touchdown in Syracuse's 17-13 loss to Florida State.

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Jared Jones -- The senior managed three receptions for 56 yards, including one for a 44-yard touchdown -- the longest of his career. It was Jones' first touchdown catch since the Central Florida game in 2002.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think they (Florida State) were shocked. I wasn't shocked, we weren't shocked. I think they were shocked and it worked to our advantage." -- Syracuse WR Andre Fountenette on Syracuse's near victory over Florida State at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

LOOKING GOOD: Syracuse is still a run-based team, but quarterback Perry Patterson's passing ability continues to develop. Patterson delivered a career-high 207 passing yards against Florida State and the first touchdown pass to a Syracuse receiver (Jared Jones) this season.

STILL NEEDS SOME WORK: Syracuse must improve its third-down consistency. The Orange converted just 2 of 13 opportunities on Saturday and ranked last in the Big East heading into the weekend's games.

ROSTER REPORT: CB Tanard Jackson returned to the lineup after sustaining a stab would three weeks ago. Jackson recorded five tackles in the game.

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