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Florida State is hopeless in loss to Syracuse

FSU could not afford offensive line injuries. The group has been rocked by them.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

FSU lost to Syracuse 30-7 Saturday.

Florida State’s defense fought hard. It held Syracuse to less than five yards/play throughout almost the entire game. It got big stop after big stop for much of the game. But eventually it broke.

But FSU’s offense was a disaster. Its first 12 drives netted only 160 yards. Florida State started the year thin on the offensive line, and now several injuries have confirmed the worse fears in Tallahassee: FSU’s reserves at the position simply cannot play. Francois was abused throughout the day, and looked shook even when he did have some time.

FSU’s bowl streak is in serious jeopardy, and it it is hard to see the Seminoles winning another game if it has to roll out all these backups on the offensive line. The unit got physically whipped by the Syracuse defensive line, which is not a good group.

That’s to say nothing of how disjointed and uncomfortable the offense looks.

We’ll have more coverage on Tomahawk Nation this weekend.

4th quarter

FSU is now on its 8th different offensive line combination of the season, with guard Brady Scott into the game to play left tackle. This gives FSU’s offensive line four guards and a center in the game.

Syracuse has added a field goal to go up 23-0.

Francois was visibly angry about the blocking, as he should be. Though he did not play well himself.

Florida State did finally score a touchdown on a decent drive thanks to a great catch by Keith Gavin.

3rd Quarter

Florida State’s defense allowed Syracuse to move into FSU territory before two excellent hustle plays by Brian Burns. Starting QB Eric Dungey is not in the game, and has not been spotted on the sidelines.

But Florida State’s offense again went three-and-out. Deondre Francois actually kept the ball on a read play, which was a bit of a shock. But he missed an open Keith Gavin on third down, in which the offensive line had some surprisingly OK pass protection.

On the ensuing drive, however, FSU’s defense finally wore out. Syracuse drove the field and on its 63rd play of the day (compared to just 32 for FSU).

FSU’s offense again went three-and-out, and Syracuse then broke the FSU defense with an explosive drive to go up 20-0.

FSU’s offensive line got destroyed yet again on the next drive, allowing major pressure on almost every snap.

The Seminoles are without a third-down conversion.

2nd Quarter

FSU started the second quarter much like it did the first quarter, with yet another three-and-out from terrible field position.

But the defense again bailed out the offense.

FSU’s offense again went three-and-out from poor field position. The backups on the offensive line continue to get worked.

But the defense again held strong, stopping Syracuse and forcing the punt, again pinning FSU deep.

Deondre Francois then threw an interception. The play was well blocked, and the underthrown ball was intended for a very open Tamorrion Terry.

Through seven drives, FSU has just one first down.

Florida State’s defense actually stopped Syracuse on the ensuing drive, but Cyrus Fagan issued a late hit to QB Eric Dungey, giving Syracuse a new set of downs.

Syracuse would kick a field goal to go up 6-0.

FSU had a chance to drive the ball for points at the end, but with 10 seconds and no timeouts, Deondre Francois inexplicably threw a ball well short of the end zone to Keith Gavin, who was tackled inbounds.

1st Quarter

Florida State again got off to a poor start on the road at Syracuse. And the offensive line is again the culprit. With the Seminoles having backups at both offensive tackles, the Syracuse defensive line is looking rather like the Orange-jersey front from Clemson, not upstate New York.

Through four drives, FSU put together just 31 yards and one first down. Most of that was a result of poor blocking. But others were not blameless. D.J. Matthews, who earned the start in the slot with a strong week of practice and second half of the Samford game, dropped a good throw from Deondre Francois on a beautifully-designed fake screen play.

Syracuse’s offense, though, has had some similar issues. Like FSU, Syracuse also had a dropped touchdown, a likely 40+ yarder by Montell Custis.

Syracuse also gave FSU a gift by kicking a field goal on fourth and goal from the three.

Syracuse also missed a field goal.

The Seminoles defensively are holding Syacause to less than 4.5 yards/play, which has to be considered a win.

The Seminoles went off as a 3.5-point favorite and the over/under is 69.