FSU Football: Top 3 Things To Look For In Syracuse Game

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Oct 29, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football will hit the road for a trip to take on the Syracuse Orangemen in New York. We take a look at the top three things to look for in the game.

FSU football is coming off arguably its most complete game of the season in a 45-7 rout of Boston College on Friday night.

They’ll travel to New York to take on Syracuse who couldn’t be more different when it comes to philosophical approach.

Boston College is a tough and physical defense, and will try to run it down your throat on offense.

Syracuse doesn’t really play any defense, and will look to run tempo and put the ball in the air on offense.

It’s definitely a look ahead spot for FSU with rival Florida on deck. The ‘Noles are favored by -20 points.

Let’s take a look at the top three things to be on the lookout for in this game.

Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA;  Florida State Seminoles linebacker Matthew Thomas (6) during the first quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles linebacker Matthew Thomas (6) during the first quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

FSU Defense Against Tempo

The FSU defense has had a renaissance of sorts over the past few games. They’ve jumped over 35 spots in the S&P + advanced metrics ranking,, and just held Boston College to seven points and a yard and a half lower per play than their average.

This FSU defense has done well against teams that try to establish the run without a mobile quarterback. However, they almost always struggle with tempo and getting lined up properly against the pass.

Louisville and UNC both gashed this FSU defense for eight and seven yards per play earlier this season with tempo.

It should be noted that Syracuse will be playing without their starting quarterback Eric Dungey who’s out with an injury. Dungey is a promising dual-threat quarterback, so obviously the Syracuse offense will not be what it normally is.

fsu football

Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) leaps over Wake Forest Demon Deacons linebacker Thomas Brown (26) during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Fast Start For FSU Offense?

The FSU football got off to a fast start against Power 5 program for the first time all season against Boston College.

They finally scored a touchdown on their first possession after the defense forced Boston College to punt on their first possession.

The same should hold true on Saturday afternoon. The Syracuse offense will be missing its starting quarterback, and their defense is among the worst in the nation.

Syracuse ranks as the No. 90 defense in the country according to S&P + advanced metrics. Their offense isn’t much better at No. 73.

That’s a recipe for the FSU defense to get a stop if they win the coin toss and defer as usual. That should set up the FSU offense with an opportunity to score on a potentially short field.

fsu football

Sep 10, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Amir Rasul (22) looks for an opening during the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Florida State Seminoles defeat the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 52-8. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Young Players

This is a game that FSU football should win comfortably if they come out focused and execute the way they did against Boston College.

If that’s the case, there’s a good chance younger players will get in the game to gain valuable reps in real game action.

Hopefully we’ll see true freshman running back Amir Rasul get some carries. Also, true freshman wide receiver Keith Gavin is another player we’d like to see out there.

True freshman defensive end Brian Burns will likely play as well as true freshman linebacker Dontavious Jackson.

Another player to be on the lookout for is true freshman defensive back Levonta Taylor.

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Jacques Patrick (9) picks up a first down against the Boston College Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Florida State won 45-7. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Jacques Patrick (9) picks up a first down against the Boston College Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Florida State won 45-7. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Conclusion

FSU football is favored to win this game by 21 points, and should be able to do that if they continue their disciplined play.

FSU was only flagged for four penalties against Boston College last week, and only allowed one third down conversion out of 12 opportunities on defense.

Hopefully, the FSU offense comes out focused again and puts points on the board early while the defense continues to assert themselves as the season progresses.

Dalvin Cook should break Warrick Dunn’s 20-year-old rushing record to become FSU’s all-time leading rusher.

Hopefully FSU takes care of business and is able to avoid injuries so they can prepare to take on Florida next week.

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