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Quick hitter: FSU walks off Syracuse for first win of the season

Ryan Fitzgerald hits 34-yard field goal to win the game.

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

Score/result: Florida State Seminoles 33-30 Syracuse Orange

FSU offensive player of the game: Jordan Travis. 22-32 with 131 yards passing and two TD’s. 19 rushes and 113 yards on the ground. Travis looked like vintage Jordan Travis tonight. FSU doesn’t win this game if he isn’t on the field today. Enough said.

FSU defensive player of the game: Keir Thomas. The South Carolina Gamecocks transfer was FSU’s most valuable player on the defensive side of the ball. Thomas made three huge plays to give FSU a chance to win the game. Thomas ended Syracuse’s first two drives. On their first drive, Thomas stuffed a QB draw on third down to force a punt. On the next drive, the former Gamecock came up with a tackle for loss on fourth and two to force a turnover on downs. On Cuse’s first drive of the second half, he made a shoe-string tackle of QB Garrett Shrader on third-and-four to bring him down for no gain and force a punt.

FSU offensive play of the game: Treshaun Ward goes for 65 yards. After Syracuse scored to cut the FSU lead to 23-20 early in the fourth quarter, the Seminoles needed an answer on offense. On third and four, Ward hauled in a short out from Travis to pick up the first down and avoid a three-and-out. On the next play, Ward bursted through the interior of the offensive line, made one man miss, and scampered for 65 yards to get FSU within the Syracuse five-yard line. Corbin finished off the drive as he punched it in from two yards out on the next play to put FSU back up 10.

FSU defensive play of the game: Kalen DeLoach stuffs Shrader at the goal line. Syracuse took over the ball at FSU’s 34-yard line after a muffed punt. The Cuse trailed by 10 at the time. Within two plays, they had first-and-goal at the Seminoles’ eight. The ‘Noles brought down a WR on a screen at the one to bring fourth and goal from the one. Shrader kept the ball on a read option and looked destined for the end-zone, but Kale DeLoach, FSU’s lone linebacker on the field, met him at the one and drove him back. The rest of the defense came behind him to finish the play, the best defensive play that FSU’s defense has made this season.

Turning point of the game: FSU drives down the field for 7 before the half. The Seminoles’ offense had to have a response on their drive, and that they did. With some help from the Orange (a holding and a roughing the passer), FSU quickly moved into Syracuse territory. Back-to-back catches by Treshaun Ward pushed the ‘Noles into the red-zone. Travis threw a strike to Helton over the middle of the field and Helton leaped up to snag a 14-yard touchdown to put the ‘Noles back on top with 39 seconds remaining in the half. A lot happened after this, but the Seminoles don’t win without this drive.

Winning play of the game: Ryan Fitzgerald walks off Syracuse with 34-yard field goal. The Seminoles took over the ball at their own 21 with 1:03 remaining in a tie game. Travis got the Seminoles to Syracuse territory with a thirty-yard scramble as he tip toed along the sideline. On third and seven, it was Travis the magician again. He spun away from pressure and scrambled for 25 yards to get FSU into the red-zone. Fitzgerald ended the game with a 34-yard field goal as time ran out.

FSU: 378 yards / 69 plays / 30:16 TOP

Syracuse: 389 yards / 63 plays / 29:44 TOP

Up next: Florida State at North Carolina Tar Heels (3-2, 2-2 ACC), Saturday, October 9th (time and network TBA)