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Staff predictions: FSU vs. Syracuse

Garnet. Gold. Orange.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 04 Syracuse at Florida State

Homecoming means you’re supposed to win— right? Let’s see.


As with every game the last two years, this one comes down to the offensive line. FSU may be starting a true freshman at left tackle and a backup at center. The Syracuse defensive line could wreck the backfield often and make for a long offensive day. As a plus, Syracuse’s offense hasn’t been great either and may be playing a backup quarterback. At this point, a win or a loss wouldn’t surprise me.

FSU 24 Syracuse 21


History will repeat itself— 2017 history that is. Cam Akers will run for close to 200 yards with a couple of TDs and James Blackman will deliver a bomb to a receiver (Warren Thompson) as FSU wins 34-30 with a late score by Syracuse that makes the game seem closer than it actually was.

Trey Rowland:

Florida State-Syracuse reminds me of the third fight of the BJ Penn and Matt Hughes trilogy that went down at UFC 123. Both contestants were not in their prime, as Syracuse is nowhere near as good as they were last year, and FSU is— well, you know where FSU is.

Penn was looking to get revenge from their last fight at UFC 63 where he looked ok, until he eventually wore down and got pummeled for a TKO loss.

Basically, our 2018 game against Syracuse in a violent nutshell

Coming into this fight, there were questions surrounding Hughes’ offense, although it was still widely accepted that his defense was pretty good. Penn, on the other hand, was inconsistent but still gifted enough athletically to explode on any given opponent.

Well, in 2019, Syracuse possesses a putrid offense and a respectable defense, and FSU is the definition of inconsistent with bouts of intermittent explosiveness.

At UFC 123, explosiveness beat defense, as Penn picked up the crushing KO victory.

Penn’s right fist is Cam Akers

It won’t be quite as emphatic, but I predict the ’Noles to pick up the win at home.

FSU 27, ’Cuse 24

Jon Marchant:

I agree with Tim that it will come down to the offensive line, but which one? I do think FSU has talent advantages over the Orange that will show out this time, unlike last week vs. Wake, and the ’Noles don’t have any obvious or severe matchup weaknesses. It seems that both offensive lines in this game are bad, but I’m willing to bet FSU has the better defensive tackles. Still, there should be quite a bit of chaos, and in that environment, anything can happen. If Tommy DeVito can’t go for Syracuse, I think FSU covers the 10-point spread. At the same time, I don’t quite trust this team.

FSU 34-27 Syracuse

Perry Kostidakis:

Last week, Wake Forest beat Florida State without scoring more than 30 points for the first time ever.

Syracuse has that in common with the Demon Deacons: in the two wins that the Orange have ever gotten over FSU, they’ve hit that sweet, sweet thirty mark.

The thing is, in theory, Syracuse should have a problem even sniffing 20. They’ve put up 41 and 52 in two games this year, but that was against Western Michigan and Holy Cross. The offensive line the Orange is rolling out is terrible, and it might be protecting the team’s backup, let alone an already maligned starter.

Could this be the game that Florida State matches the yin with the yang, and replicates last week’s defensive performance (maybe with a few sacks sprinkled in) with the offensive success of the early season? It needs to be, with the future of Florida State’s postseason more or less depending on the result. The Seminoles are staring at a string of winnable games, and need to capitalize, for everybody’s sake and sanity.

Call it Stockholm Syndrome, call it naivety, call it whatever, but I just can’t see how it doesn’t happen. I’m not saying FSU’s going to put up 60, hold Syracuse to three, and then we’ll blast “Thrift Shop” because it’s 2013 again, but this is the team for Florida State to get it together on, and with the improvement (yes, seriously, there has been) that there’s been this season, now seems like the time for it to come to fruition.

Florida State 29, Syracuse 17

Evan Johnson

Nothing that happens in this game would surprise me. Even in areas where FSU should have an edge (explosive pass plays for instance) they have glaring weaknesses (QB play). I think FSU can stymie the Syracuse offense enough to allow the FSU offense to run enough plays and tire out the Syracuse defense.

Something that’s interesting about this FSU team is that they are actually on track for a solid rebuild when you only consider score. Last year they were getting blown out by everybody but this year they are losing close. FSU fans do not want to hear that that is a step forward but FSU fans also thought their program was immune to the sort of ineptitude that has occurred under Fisher and Taggart. Next year FSU needs to turn these close losses into close wins.

What does all that mean for the Syracuse game? Considering how bad the Orange are this should result in a close win for FSU. If the ‘Noles want to go bowling they have to have this game. Add in the fact that this one is at home and I’ll pick the good guys, but not by much.

FSU 28, Cuse 24

Matt Minnick:

Untimely mistakes and another missed kick by Rick pushed my SU record down to 5-2 last week, 2-5 ATS. As I’ve said before, this is why I don’t bet on FSU games.

This week, FSU gets back in the win column at home against a Syracuse team that has a good DL but is struggling a bit on offense. Cam continues his march toward the third highest single-season rushing total in school history (though hopefully he stops fumbling when we have a chance to extend leads) and Terry bounces back after a sub-par game. Big Marv continues to do Big Marv things.

FSU 31, Syracuse 23


This will the be game where the whole ’Noles team finally brings it. The offense will bring it. The defense will bring it. The special teams will bring it.

Although the FSU players know they are likely out of contention for the College Football Playoffs, anything can still happen for the ACC Championship and in order to remain in the race for another title, a win against Syracuse will greatly increase those chances. This is the reason why the ’Noles will bring it, and they will bring it big time.

FSU 38 - Syracuse 20

David Visser:

Man, Frank went with the Hot Rod GIF? I’m not sure how — or even if — that can be topped. But here goes. I. do think the Seminole offense will rebound after a disappointing outing at Wake. If you read our graphic preview, you know that big plays should be on the menu, and I think the QB play improves, while Tamorrion Terry redeems himself.

I also think the ’Nole defense rediscovers its way back to the quarterback, a place that’s been far too unfamiliar for them way too often of late.

Syracuse 22, FSU 31