Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Syracuse (2-0) welcomes Florida State (1-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) to the Carrier Dome on Saturday at noon. In week two, both SU and FSU played FCS opponents. The Orange thrashed Wagner, 62-10, while FSU defeated Samford, 36-26.Here’s what to know about Florida State headed into this week’s matchup:All-time series: Florida State leads, 10-1Last time they played: Syracuse lost 27-24 in Tallahassee last November behind two blocked field goals by FSU. The Orange, led by Eric Dungey, who played the majority of the game on a broken foot, more than doubled Florida State’s passing yards. Syracuse totaled more than 100 yards of total offense greater than the Seminoles. FSU ran 56 plays to SU’s 95 — but Cam Akers ran 22 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns. A blocked 43-yard field goal attempt sealed SU’s fate in the game’s waning seconds.The FSU report: Florida State has stumbled under new head coach Willie Taggart, with a loss at home against Virginia Tech and then the tight win over Samford just five days later.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTaggart came to FSU after the departure of former head coach Jimbo Fisher last offseason. Taggart, who coached Oregon in 2017, orchestrated two wins against Syracuse during his time at South Florida from 2013-16. The last time a Taggart-coached team played in the Carrier Dome was in 2016, when USF defeated Syracuse 45-20.Through two games, FSU’s defense has been stout. The Seminoles have allowed 10 second half points, none of which have come in the third quarter. In addition, FSU boasts the nation’s seventh-ranked third down defense, allowing a conversion 22.2 percent of the time. In the run game, which has been Syracuse’s best offensive category through two games, the Seminoles have held opponents to 2.75 yards per carry.Offensively, the Seminoles are led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois. Against Virginia Tech, Francois struggled, throwing for under 250 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions while being sacked five times. Against Samford, he led a comeback behind 320 yards passing and three touchdowns.How Syracuse beats FSU: Throughout the 11 meetings between the two programs all-time, FSU averages more than 200 yards per game on the ground. And in each of the last four meetings — all FSU victories —the Seminoles have had a 100-yard rusher. But with 10 offensive linemen playing in the first two games of 2018, FSU’s running game has struggled. If Syracuse can pressure the inexperienced offensive line with defensive penetration as well as strong play from the linebackers, FSU’s offense could turn stagnant. The Seminoles have been outscored 26-7 in the first quarter this season. That means if the Orange offense comes out hot, it may have a chance to get up early. After only one SU receiver caught a pass in week one against Western Michigan, five receivers reeled in balls in week two. Syracuse will need to spread the ball around like it did in week two to avoid relying on the run game against a stout FSU run defense.Player to watch: Cam Akers, running back, No. 3A season ago, Akers broke FSU’s freshman rushing record with 1,024 yards. With seven touchdowns and 5.3 yards per carry in 2017, Akers was named to the All-ACC third team. Though the Seminoles haven’t shredded either of their opponents on the ground so far this season, Akers has still averaged 5.6 yards per carry, which includes an 85-yard run against Virginia Tech. Akers has gained 63 percent of his yards after contact, ranking him third in the nation.center_img Published on September 12, 2018 at 11:59 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img

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