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Florida State vs. Syracuse: 3 key bets for Seminoles vs. Orange

Predicting Jordan Tavis passing yards, Trey Benson 1st touchdown, and Garrett Shrader rushing yards

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

After playing in Doak for the first time in a month, our picks enjoyed the home-field advantage. Another 2/3 week got us back into the win column, bringing the yearly total to 11/15.

With a partial solar eclipse covering the field during Saturday’s game, look for these three prop bets to be lights out during the second game of FSU’s three-game home stand.

Three picks. Three winners.

Here we go.

All lines are presented by DraftKings — as always, gamble at your own risk.

Trey Benson First time TD Scorer +400:

Usually, I don't like to make predictions like these due to their unpredictability.

However, the value of this play was too good to pass up.

Florida State, for all their ups and downs, have been consistent in one part of their game: opening the half. The Seminoles scored on 9 out of 10 opening drives to start the half(1st and 3rd quarter) and are still 20/20 in the red zone. Mike Norvell's scripts to begin play have been exceptional for the Seminoles. The offense comes out playing with hyper speed, the players look in sync, and the rhythm and timing are what we expect from a top-five team in the country. Add this to the fact that Trey Benson recaptured his old form last weekend. After starting the year slowly on the ground, Benson burst through in a BIG way last week, carrying the ball for 200 yards and multiple scores. I expect that FSU will still commit to their run game and attack on the ground early, even against a heavy Syracuse box.

Meanwhile, Syracuse gave up 17 points in the first quarter last week to North Carolina, an opening drive touchdown to Clemson the week before, and an opening drive touchdown to Army(!) the week before that. Safe to say that the Orange are having issues starting fast and will not face a more difficult matchup than the Seminoles this weekend.

The pick: Yes

Garett Shrader O/U 42.5 rushing yards

Florida State last week fought valiantly against a highly mobile QB in Kyron Drones. They plugged gaps, had good eye discipline, and limited the Hokies to 10 points on offense. Drones still finished the day with 80 rushing yards; his longest rush went for 40 yards. It is a feature, not a bug, of this Florida State defense to turn quarterbacks loose in the run game.

It is well-documented how poorly the FSU defense fares against running QBs. Taking out the Southern Mississippi game, Florida State gave up rushing yards of 64, 95, 10, and 80. These rushing statistics are even worse during the game because, for some ridiculous reason, college football counts sack yardage against a quarterback’s rushing yards. Not only are the running totals concerning, but teams know to attack Adam Fuller’s crew with this game plan in mind. Those quarterbacks carried the ball 15, 16, 13, and 14 times against FSU. Now comes to town another dual-threat QB who loves to get downhill and use his massive frame. Shrader is second on the team in carries at 71, only 16 behind their starting running back, LeQuint Allen, while averaging 5.2 yards a rush. I do not think Sharder will turn into Castellanos 2.0, but until the Seminole defense proves that they can severely limit a quarterback's legs in the run game, there is no reason to pick against Syracuse starter.

The pick: Over

Jordan Travis O/U 241.5 Passing Yards:

Some Florida State fans are sounding alarm bells on the play of Jordan Travis. I think they are ludicrous. His overall command of the game, precision passing, and decision-making have been why Florida State began the year 5-0. While I think FSU will get to 6-0 on Saturday, I do not believe it will be because of Jordan Travis slinging the ball all over the field.

The reason for my prediction is a two-part response. While Jordan Travis has been a supreme game manager, I would not categorize him as producing unbelievable statistics. Travis only eclipsed the 300-yard marker once this season in the first game against LSU and has thrown for under 250 yards thrice. JT came off Saturday’s game with a hyper-efficient 75% completion percentage but had his lowest yard total of the season with 170. Even one of the biggest excitements from Saturday’s game will come at the expense of Travis’ passing yardage. He looked like his usual self in the run game as he tucked it and ran ten times against the Hokies, and not all of those were on designed runs.

While we know Jordan Travis can light up the scoreboard whenever he pleases, the Syracuse matchup presents a prickly matchup for the Seminole pass catchers. FSU has not been stellar against man coverage this year, and Syracuse will have no issue playing 1 on 1 on the outside. Meanwhile, the health of Johnny Wilson is still a question mark going into Saturday’s game. We know what Keon Coleman can do, but someone will need to step up after that. The receiver room certainly has the talent to do so; however, no one else consistently gets open the way Wilson and Coleman do. Travis will be able to execute any game plan thrown his way. His arm should not be the focal point Saturday at noon.

The pick: Under

There you go, friends, three picks, three winners; everyone enjoy Saturday afternoon!

Florida State Seminoles vs. Syracuse Orange: How to watch


Saturday, October 14


12:00 p.m.






Seminoles Radio Network, SiriusXM RADIO FSU Broadcast: CH. 136 or 193

Florida State vs. Virginia Tech: Game notes

» Florida State hosts Syracuse in the middle game of a three-game homestand. The Seminoles, playing on ABC for the fifth time in six games this season, are 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the ACC after a 39-17 win over Virginia Tech.

» Florida State is No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press poll. It is the sixth consecutive week FSU has been ranked in the top-5, the program’s longest streak since 2013-14 when Florida State was in the top-5 for 27 consecutive polls.

» The Seminoles extended their winning streak to 11 games, the longest active streak in the ACC and the 3rd-longest active streak in the country.

» FSU has scored at least 30 points in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in the ACC, the 2nd-longest active streak in the nation and the 2nd-longest streak in ACC history, trailing only FSU’s 17 games from 2012-14.

» Florida State jumped out to a 22-0 lead at the end of the first quarter vs. Virginia Tech, the most points scored and largest lead after the first 15 minutes for an ACC team against an FBS opponent this season. It was the largest first- quarter margin by an ACC team in a conference game since Nov. 12, 2022, when Pitt led Virginia 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, and FSU’s largest first-quarter margin since a 28-0 lead over Charleston Southern on Sept. 10, 2016. The last time FSU held at least a 22-point lead at the end of the first quarter against an FBS opponent was a 28-0 lead over Syracuse on Nov. 16, 2013.

» FSU is a perfect 20-for-20 in Red Zone trips this season. The Seminoles’ 20 Red Zone trips are 2nd nationally among the five remaining teams that have scored on every Red Zone opportunity this season. FSU’s 80.0 touchdown percentage in the Red Zone is 6th in the country overall and 2nd among teams that are perfect inside the Red Zone.

» The Seminoles are one of four teams nationally to have a receiver and a rusher with a three-touchdown game this season. Keon Coleman caught a career-high three scores vs. No. 5 LSU, and Trey Benson tied his single-game career- high with three rushing scores vs. Southern Miss. Coleman is one of 22 receivers nationally with a three-touchdown game this year, and Benson is one of 39 players with three rushing scores in a game.

» Florida State’s defense has faced 35 plays inside their 10-yard line this season and allowed just nine touchdowns. In the 45-24 win over No. 5 LSU, the Seminoles faced 10 snaps inside their own 5-yard line and allowed only two scores. On LSU’s first drive of the game, the Tigers had six plays inside the five-yard line, including four snaps from the 1-yard line, and the FSU defense forced a turnover on downs with a 13-yard sack on 4th-and-1.

» The Seminoles have scored on nine of their 10 opening drives of a half this season. In those half-opening drives, Florida State has scored six touchdowns and three field goals for an average of 5.2 points per drive.

» Florida State made 10 tackles for loss while allowing 0 TFLs, including sacks, in its win at Boston College. It was the first time in recorded program history FSU did not allow a TFL against an FBS opponent and the first time nationally a team had 10 TFLs while allowing 0 against a P5 opponent since Missouri’s 2017 win over Florida. The only other time FSU did not allow a tackle for loss in a game was 2012 vs. FCS Murray State.

» FSU scored 31 points after halftime vs. No. 5 LSU, the most second-half points against a top-5 opponent in program history. It also was the most second-half points nationally against a top-5 opponent in a non-playoff game since September 26, 2020, when Kansas State scored 31 second-half points at No. 3 Oklahoma. That has only happened two other times since the beginning of the 2014 season, both in 2018, when Purdue scored 35 second-half points against No. 2 Ohio State and Ohio State scored 38 second-half points against No. 4 Michigan. The only other team to score at least 31 points in a game against a top-5 opponent this season is Texas’ 34-24 win over No. 3 Alabama.

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