No. 23 Florida State ended conference play on Saturday night with a 38-3 win over the Syracuse Orange. The Noles headed into their matchup coming off a landslide victory over the Miami Hurricanes 45-3 and improved their season record to 7-3 in a similar fashion. Through the past three games, the FSU defense has given up 21 total points and hasn’t let an opponent score in the last two.
The defense started strong, forcing a three-and-out on the first drive for the Orange. Linebacker Tatum Bethune paired with defensive back Shyheim Brown was able to end Syracuse’s first whiff at the Nole defense.
Offensively, running back Trey Benson got the Noles going, and runs by wide receiver Mycah Pittman paired with catches from tight end Camren McDonald put them inside the 15, and quarterback Jordan Travis rushed in from three yards for the score.
Defensive end Patrick Payton notched his first sack of the night, rushing untouched to deliver a 10-yard blow on Shrader, forcing Syracuse into a third and long. The redshirt freshman has shown marked improvement and has been praised by his coaches on multiple occasions this season.
Wide receiver Ja’Khi Douglas helped FSU convert on a third and long, which opened up the second scoring drive for the Noles. Travis found receiver Malik McClain on a short route heading into the endzone.
Travis would go on to fumble, giving Syracuse a favorable field position deep in Nole territory. Tackles for loss by defensive lineman Joshua Farmer and a sack by defensive end Jared Verse with Kalen DeLoach would lead to a missed field goal by the Orange.
Syracuse seemed to have found their footing defensively in the second quarter, only giving up seven points. Punter Alex Mastromanno however, steadily kept Syracuse pinned deep.
The Seminole defense played a major role in the game's outcome, not allowing a touchdown throughout the matchup. WR Johnny Wilson would score for the third time in the night, making it a 21-3 game. They would go into the half up 24-3 after a 40-yard field goal by Ryan Fitzgerald.
Passing - Jordan Travis (17-18, 127 yards, two touchdowns)
Rushing - Trey Benson (8 attempts, 66 yards, 8.3 YPC)
Receiving - Mycah Pittman (3 catches, 17-yards)
Leading tackler - Tatum Bethune (4 total) Jared Verse (1 sack)
Syracuse came into the third quarter with an onside kick attempt that was recovered by defensive back Azareye’h Thomas giving FSU good field position and another chance to score. Benson on the ground averaged 9.1 yards per carry, and that average helped put the Noles up 31-3 when wide receiver Kentron Poitier caught his third touchdown of the season.
Jordan Travis accounted for his fifth touchdown of the night late in the third quarter. He rushed for one, passed for three, and caught another on a trick play thrown by tight end Wyatt Rector in the red zone.
Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker came into the game, and Travis would end his night 21-23 for 155 yards accounting for five touchdowns. After a quick three downs, Fitzgerald missed his 51-yard field goal attempt.
Defensive back Greedy Vance got an interception for the second week in a row after picking off one against Miami. Garret Shrader threw a pass intended for running back Sean Tucker and was able to extend in the air to get the ball.
The Seminoles set a season-best, only allowing 166 total yards defensively, and gave another end-to-end performance in conference play. They will now turn their sights to the Ragin’ Cajuns at home before closing out their regular season against the Florida Gators
End of Game Stats
Passing - Jordan Travis (21-23, 155 yards, three touchdowns)
Rushing - Trey Benson (18 attempts, 163 yards, 9.1 YPC)
Receiving - Malik McClain (4 catches, 26-yards, one touchdown)
Leading tackler - Jared Verse (4 tackles, one sack)