Back in the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time since 2016, the No. 23 Florida State Seminoles will wrap up the ACC portion of their schedule Saturday at the Syracuse Orange.
The Seminoles were unable to defeat any of the top teams in their conference, but took care of business against everyone else and will try to do the same against the Orange, who have dropped three consecutive games since a 6-0 start.
The Florida State offensive and defensive units, both of which are ranked in the top 20 nationally, were on display last week in a 45-3 thrashing of the Miami Hurricanes. The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs, No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide are the only other teams in the FBS to have both a top-20 offense and defense.
“You see the potential. You see the opportunities we have when we play to that level,” third-year head coach Mike Norvell told the media. “It’s about what we do as a football team and continuing to take the proper steps toward improvement.”
The Orange have nowhere to go but up on offense after their showing last week against the Pittsburgh Panthers, when they generated just 145 yards of offense.
Sean Tucker, the fifth-leading rusher in Syracuse history, was met at every turn by Pitt defenders and finished with season lows in yards (19) and yards per attempt (1.9).
Dino Babers’ team will gladly turn the page on the loss and focus on the final game at the JMA Wireless Dome this season. The Orange have a shot at finishing 6-1 in the dome, which would match the school record for wins there.
Robinson Versatile Chess Piece on Defense
Jammie Robinson has been all over the field on defense from his safety spot for the Seminoles and that should continue against the Orange.
The junior, who was All-ACC last season, leads the Seminoles in tackles with 68, including 9.4 per game in the last five contests, and has gotten pressure on the quarterback on seven of his 17 blitzes (41.1%).
The Georgia native has lined up all over for Florida State, including 252 snaps at safety, 125 snaps in the slot, 163 as a box defender and 15 as a defensive lineman.
“His versatility is what makes Jammie special,” Norvell told the media. “He’s done a remarkable job in coverage, as a blitzer, the things he does in his run game fits. Sometimes, it hasn’t always shown up in the stat line, but I really like what I’m seeing.”.
Loss of Shrader Stalls Syracuse Offense
The first career start at quarterback for Carlos Del Rio-Wilson was a forgettable one as the freshman completed under 35% of his passes for 120 yards last week.
Del Rio-Wilson has played the last six quarters for the Orange after Garrett Shrader went down with an injury. Babers would not confirm the nature of the injury other than to say it is not a concussion and would not say if Shrader will be available for this game.
The players around Del Rio-Wilson will need to step up if they are to find success against Florida State, which leads the ACC and is in the top 16 nationally in pass defense (165 yards per game) and yards per pass attempt (6.1).
“The biggest thing when it comes to somebody having a first start is that everybody else is responsible for making his job easier,” Babers told the media. “As a unit we did not play well and we anticipate playing a lot better on Saturday and we need to.”
Florida State vs Syracuse Game Injuries
Florida State vs Syracuse Head-to-Head
The Seminoles lead the all-time series 12-2 and have won nine of the last 10 meetings. Florida State is 4-1 in the dome, but the Orange won the last game there in 2018.
Florida State vs Syracuse Game Information
- Game: Florida State (6-3) vs Syracuse (6-3)
- Location: JMA Wireless Stadium, Syracuse, NY
- Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 12th, 8 p.m. ET
- Florida State vs Syracuse Live Stream: ESPN
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Florida State vs Syracuse Betting Lines
Florida State vs Syracuse Prediction
The Seminoles are favored by seven points according to the NCAA football odds, a low number given the recent results for both teams. Florida State hasn’t posted a shutout since 2015 but will have a chance to get one here if Del Rio-Wilson starts at quarterback for the Orange.
The Florida State Seminoles are listed at -250 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Seminoles, you have a chance to win $40. The Syracuse Orange are +205, offering a chance to win $205 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Florida State a 71.43% chance to win, with Syracuse at 32.79%.