Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee
Written by Nick Raffoul
The Syracuse Orange will head on the road to Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon for an Atlantic Coast Conference battle versus the Florida State Seminoles.
Things are starting to get bad at Florida State, historically bad. ESPN’s College GameDay crew didn’t hold back when discussing the Seminoles’ performance under head coach Willie Taggart last week. Florida State is just 8-11 under Taggart, whose contract reportedly runs until Jan. 31, 2024. The Seminoles enter with a disappointing 3-4 overall record and 2-3 mark in ACC play after suffering another ugly loss to Wake Forest last weekend. In comes Syracuse, which has lost back-to-back games by seven points or less. Can Florida State bounce back with a much-needed win versus Syracuse on Saturday afternoon?
See Full Analysis with Predictions
Orange need ACC road win to qualify for bowl seasonSyracuse enters the week with an unsightly 3-4 record and the Orange are winless against Power 5 competition, including 0-3 against ACC opponents. They will try to bounce back on Saturday after suffering their second straight defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh last week. Quarterback Tommy DeVito was forced to leave the 27-20 loss to Pittsburgh after taking a hard hit and was replaced by junior college transfer Clayton Welch. Welch filled in admirably, finishing with 176 passings yards and two scores, while also leading the Orange in rushing with 36 yards on 10 carries. Taj Harris caught three balls for 111 yards and a touchdown, but inefficiency on third down (5-for-18) and penalties (nine for 78 yards) ultimately cost the Orange. After the game, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers let it be known that nobody’s job is safe. “We need to regroup. Right now, everybody's job is in jeopardy,” said Babers. “It's not fair to keep playing the same guys if the results don't change."
Struggles along the offensive line have not helped matters for DeVito and the Orange offense. The Orange have allowed 35 sacks and five sacks per game so far this season, both of which rank dead-last in the country. Without a conventional running game or time to throw the football, Syracuse has been too susceptible to negative plays, which has killed drives before they even get started. The o-line gave up nine total sacks last week, including six on DeVito before he left the game.
Babers has yet to name a starter under center for this week’s game against Florida State. DeVito, who came into last week’s game already banged up, failed to finish the contest and the Orange have yet to score more than 20 points against a Power Five opponent this season. That could lead to some changes at quarterback this week, especially given Welch’s ability to escape the rush with his legs. While Babers said he knows who’s better, there is still a chance that both quarterbacks play again this week against the Seminoles -- if DeVito is healthy enough to go.
Despite the team’s puzzling 3-4 start, Syracuse still has a chance to earn a trip to a bowl game, but first, the Orange will have to win an ACC road game. The defense has played well enough to keep the Orange in games, especially over the past two weeks. They come in allowing 26.1 points and 418.9 yards of total offense per contest, but they’ve done a good job of forcing their opponents into mistakes. Syracuse has now forced turnovers in 21 consecutive games and their 14 takeaways are tied for 14th in the nation.
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We currently do not have a prediction for this team, check back closer to the game day!