FSU Continues to Dismantle Opponents; Crushing Syracuse 58-3

(Photo Credit: JP Souffront/ The SkyBoat)

Written by Josh Christian

Tallahassee, FL – It was homecoming in Tallahassee and moms, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters were all out to see the undefeated Florida State Seminoles take on ACC foe and 5-4 Syracuse Orange which resulted in a 58-3 final score.. Players from the Florida State’s 1993 National Championship team took to the field pregame and were greeted with roaring applause from over 74,000 fans in attendance. Present were such legends as Charlie Ward, Derrick Brooks, and Coach Bobby Bowden.

FSU jumped out early in this game and never let their foot off the gas. Florida State closed out the first quarter up 28-0 with touchdowns coming from James Wilder Jr., Kermit Whitfield, Devonta Freeman, and Rashad Greene. This is the second time the Noles score at least four touchdowns in the first quarter this season. Florida State previously put up 35 in the first quarter against NC State, avenging a one point loss to the Wolfpack a year ago.

The Nole’s added ten more points in the second quarter. Three points came off the leg of red shirt freshman, Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo knocked through a 53-yard field goal that had enough distance to go 60. Kelvin Benjamin added the last touchdown of the half off of what seems to be an every game trend for him this season: jump ball, end zone, touchdown. At 6’4″ 240 Benjamin is a nightmare matchup for nearly every defensive back in the nation.

The Noles took to the locker room at the half with a 38-0 lead.

Not surprisingly, FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher chose not to bring Winston out for the second half. New Jersey native and redshirt freshman Sean Maguire took over QB duties in Winston’s absence. With Jacob Coker out for the season due to a knee injury he sustained in the Wake Forest rout, all eyes were on the freshman. Maguire showed he has great potential, connecting on his first career touchdown to FSU tight end Nick O’Leary on the second drive of the half. He finished the game with just 21 yards off three passes with a touchdown and a pick. Though his numbers may not have been very impressive, his teammates have full confidence in his abilities now and going forward. “Sean has a cannon”, said Jameis Winston. “He’s young just like me, so obviously we’re still learning the offense”

To go with O’leary’s touchdown, Wilder Jr. added his second of the game, and redshirt freshman Chris Cashe, scored his first career defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery late in the 3rd. Florida State Defensive end Jacobbi McDaniel on Casher’s score, “It was very big. Every week Casher is progressing as a defensive end and he’s getting better every week…every time he steps on the field he’s making plays.”

The Syracuse Orange added a 32 yard field goal with 10 minutes left In the game to avoid the shutout.

FSU showed again that they have a bevy of offensive weapons at every position with six different Noles seeing the end zone. Kenny Shaw, the only first team receiver not to reach the end zone, made up for his scoreless day with 144 all-purpose yards, including matching his career high in receptions with 7 for

99 yards. Nick O’Leary also set a career record for having the most touchdowns by a tight end in FSU history. Nick O’Leary on the moment, “It was cool to be Sean’s first touchdown and it was also the record-breaking touchdown for me, so for both of those things to happen it was pretty amazing.”

Despite the distractions of the week, Jameis Winston was as poised and focused as he had been all year. Winston continues to be the Heisman favorite and did nothing but add to his stellar resume going 19-21 with 277 yards and 2 touchdowns in only a half a game of play. Winston raised some eyebrows with a diving block in the first half that helped spring Kermit Whitfield for a 74-yard touchdown. “Anything for our team to have success, I’m down for it”, said Winston. Coach Jimbo Fisher on the block said, tongue in cheek, “Kermit’s going to outrun everyone in the world, you don’t have to block, just be careful”, he went on to praise his Heisman hopeful for his selflessness, “It shows how team-oriented he is”.

Not to be outdone the Florida State Seminole defense once again rolled out a dominating performance holding the Orange to 3 points. Adding 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and one returned for a touchdown bringing FSU’s defensive touchdown total on the year to 6. Even more impressively is Florida State has not given up a touchdown in 10 quarters. Maybe FSU’s only weakness is their run defense which allowed a couple big gains to Syracuse running back George Morris in the second half. Although it was their second team defense in the game at the time, junior defensive end Timmy Jernigan made it clear there are improvements to be made at every level of the defense. “…They got a couple big runs late in the game. We work hard on our younger guys, we work hard to put zero points on the board and we expect it to stay that way. I feel like we can do better as a whole group.”

Florida State is now 10-0 for the first time since their 1999 national championship team, they have scored 40 or more points in every game this season, they have the leading Heisman trophy candidate and are 3 games away from a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 6, to play for the schools 3rd National Championship. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, however, is keeping focused on the task at hand. When asked about the 10-0 record and the future, “To be honest I haven’t thought about it. I don’t have time to think about it. We’ll go back and think of those things when the season is over. We’ll just continue to play”.

Florida State’s next game is against the Idaho Vandals, November the 23rd at 3:30pm, in Doak Campbell Stadium.

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