Florida State won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half and the Seminoles’ defense started off its homecoming weekend with a bang. Marvin Wilson and Hamsah Nasrildeen sacked Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito on the very first play of the game leading the Orange to quickly punt the ball away.
With QB Alex Hornibrook at the helm, Florida State’s first drive was a 5-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Cam Akers rushing 22-yards into the end zone.
Cam Akers found a cutback lane, broke an Alton Robinson tackle and then had an easy route to the end zone for a 23-yard score. #FSU up 6-0 on #Syracuse early after a blocked PAT. pic.twitter.com/2mQ1tPtLho— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) October 26, 2019
Florida State’s kicking woes continued as backup kicker Parker Grothaus’ PAT was blocked. Grothaus was substituting for Ricky Aguayo who was sidelined with an apparent illness. The offensive-line also featured some fresh faces as true freshman Darius Washington started at left tackle and fellow true freshman Dontae Lucas moved over to left guard.
Florida State’s second drive followed suit and Cam Akers rushed 3-yards into the end zone. The drive was almost perfect as the Seminoles’ converted three times on second down and Hornibrook was perfect on the drive connecting with four different receivers, Tamorrion Terry, D.J. Matthews, Tre’ McKitty, and Tre’shaun Harrison
Syracuse started off the second quarter by making a 50-yard field goal to decrease the Seminoles lead, 13-3. The Orange missed its’ second 46-yard attempt however. As the first half came to a close, the Seminoles executed a triple-pass trick-play where Hornibrook threw to Akers on a screen and Akers tossed it back to Hornibrook and connected with Tamorrion Terry downfield. Terry took off for a 54-yard gain before he was tackled at the Syracuse 16-yard line.
The drive ended with Cam Akers rushing into the end zone and the Seminoles took a steady lead to close the first half, 21-3.
The Seminoles’ second half started off like the first and as you could have guessed, as Akers found the end zone once again. The Mississippi-native would leave the game early due to possible injury (didn’t appear to be anything serious), but not before finishing with 144-yards and four rushing touchdowns on twenty carries, a Florida State single-game record.
Cam Akers: 4 rushing touchdowns!!! pic.twitter.com/fJVIIuzxuz— I'M SEEING GHOSTS (@FTBeard11) October 26, 2019
RB Khalan Laborn also found the end zone at the end of the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown rush. The 35-3 score after three quarters maybe have been headlined by Akers, but the FSU defense was simply dominant in this one, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry prior to fourth-quarter garbage time.
Florida State entered garbage time in the 3rd quarter for the first time in a long time and both of the Orange’s touchdowns came during this time. Hornibrook finished 15-26 for 196 yards.