FSU Football 2016 Gameday Preview: at Syracuse

Here’s a preview of FSU football and their next battle during the 2016 football season.

For just the third time in the 2016 regular season, the Florida State Seminoles will be leaving the state of Florida as they play their final road game against one of the ACC’s newest members. After maybe playing their most complete game of the season last week, the ‘Noles look focused for the first time in a while this season.

Now, they take on a Syracuse team who needs to win out just to make it into bowl season – all while doing so without their best offensive weapon. They are a team that shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the ‘Noles…which makes them very dangerous.

Here’s our preview of this week’s game between the Seminoles and the Orange.

FSU football

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Auden Tate (18) makes a first quarter catch against Boston College Eagles defensive back Lukas Denis (21) at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time FSU Football Took The Field

In just the second home Friday night game since 1957, the Seminoles clicked on all cylinders for much of their game against Boston College – as the defense took advantage of playing the 86th ranked offense in all of the FBS and kept the Eagles to just seven points on the night, which game in the final quarter with all the backups in for Charles Kelly’s unit.

On the flip side, the FSU offense was facing on of their toughest challenges all season against the 14th ranked defense nationally and put 45 points on the board. Dalvin Cook finally broke his slump against BC and ran for 108 yards on the night, while Deondre Francois continued his maturation process and continues to give FSU football fans plenty to smile about for the future.

fsu football

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) carries the ball against the Boston College Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Florida State won 45-7. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Key Matchup

FSU’s Big Offensive Three vs. Syracuse Defense

It may sound general, but for the three big offensive weapons on the Seminoles (Francois, Cook and wide receiver Travis Rudolph) this is going to be a game to both pad stats and get plenty of rest early against one of the worst defenses they will face all season.

Nationally, the Orange rank 117th out of the 128 FBS teams in total defense. Included in that stat is a ranking of 112th against the pass – something Rudolph took advantage of last year when he smoked the secondary all day long. Cook didn’t play last year in this game due to injury, but is back and healthy – and just 19 yards away from becoming the all-time leading rusher in FSU football history. If everything goes to form, he should get that the first time he touches the ball.

Interesting Note

Saturday’s showdown will be just the 10th time that the two former Independent powers in what is now the FBS have met, with the ‘Noles holding a 8-1 advantage and having won the last eight meetings. FSU football’s eight wins have been rather convincing, with the ‘Noles winning by an average of just under 28 points each time – a number that is even more impressive considering one win was by just four points back in 2004 when they met in Western New York.

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts at Doak Campbell Stadium during a game against the Boston College Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts at Doak Campbell Stadium during a game against the Boston College Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction

Every stat and breakdown we have given you points to an easy win for the Seminoles against a team they have made light work of much of the last three decades. That being said, this is the same Orange team that went out and dominated Virginia Tech earlier this season in a game they had no business being in. Yes, the Seminoles are a better team than the Hokies when it comes to talent, but it goes to show that the ‘Noles can’t let their guard down in this one. With goals still left on the table, FSU football needs to handle their business and get home with the “W”. Florida State 37 Syracuse 17.

This article originally appeared on