The Florida State offense was in for their biggest challenge of a season with Everett Golson, Dalvin Cook, and Mario Pender all out. After two drives that ended in punts, Maguire got into rhythm, throwing two touchdowns to Travis Rudolph of 75 and 45 yards respectively. He ended the first quarter a perfect 8-8 with 151 yards. Syracuse would add a touchdown after a long screen, leaving the Noles with a 14-7 lead after one quarter.
The second quarter began on the ground with Jacques Patrick rushing for his first career collegiate touchdown. That's all the scoring FSU would do as Roberto Aguayo missed a 41-yard field goal wide left. Syracuse would add a late touchdown on a hot and cold Florida State defense.
After scoring zero points in the second half against Geogia Tech, the FSU offense had a complete turnaround with Sean Maguire at the helm. The junior from Sparta, New Jersey entered halftime 18-24 with 302 yards --- more attempts, completions and yards than Golson has thrown for in any half. Jacques Patrick added 127 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in his first start of his career.
The Florida State defense come out of halftime strong, forcing Syracuse to a three and out, and then recovering a fumble forced by Derwin James deep into Syracuse territory. The Noles would cash in with Sean Maguire connecting with Travis Rudolph in the end zone for the third time, making it a 21-point FSU lead while holding 'Cuse to 59 yards of offense all quarter.
The fourth quarter started with another familiar sight, Jacques Patrick in the end zone following his third rushing touchdown of the game. Following a Roberto Aguayo field goal, Syracuse scored on a punt return, cutting the lead to 24 with less than 1:30 left in the game. Needless to say, they could not overcome that deficit.
Despite the uncertainty, Sean Maguire had an outstanding day leading the Florida State offense. He finished the day 23-35 with three touchdowns and 348 passing yards. He seemed to have built chemistry with wide receiver Travis Rudolph who had 191 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Jacques Patrick, who got his first career start in place for Dalvin Cook, had a very nice showing compiling 229 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. In total, the Noles recorded 575 yards of total offense.
After appearing a little shaky at some points in the first half, the Seminoles defense was solid all game. Syracuse was held to just 303 total yards, while the Noles defense recorded two sacks and six tackles for loss. Derwin James had a breakout game, recording 12 tackles and his second forced fumble of the season.
Once again, there were many avoidable false start penalties suffered by the Noles, however it luckily did not effect them.
Florida State will travel to South Carolina next Satuday to take on Clemson at 3:30 pm EST.