FSU extends streak with win over Syracuse

Trey Benson had 14 carries for 74 yards in FSU’s victory over Syracuse.
Photo by Wayne A. Dunwoody


Florida State’s defense dominated Syracuse and the offense piled up big plays in a 41-3 win over the Orange at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

The Seminoles are now 6-0 on the season and 4-0 in the ACC and the win extended their winning streak to 12 straight games dating back to last season when FSU closed with six consecutive wins.

FSU, which is ranked No. 4, limited Syracuse to 261 yards of total offense and held starting quarterback Garrett Schrader to 9-of-21 passing for just 99 yards. 

Offensively, the Seminoles churned out 535 yards with Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis throwing for 284 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-37 passing before coaches substituted liberally with minutes left.

Keon Coleman led all FSU receivers with nine catches for 140 yards and a spectacular first half touchdown. Tight end Jaheim Bell had 87 yards on four catches as the Seminoles spread the ball with 10 different receivers recording a catch.

Lawrance Toafili led the Seminoles in rushing with seven carries for 93 yards, and Trey Benson had 14 carries for 74 yards.

Shyheim Brown led the Noles’ defense with 1.5 quarterback sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss, a team-high seven tackles and a pass break-up.  Cornerback Fentrell Cyprus II recorded a pair of passes broken up, and FSU forced the Orange into five three-and-out possessions.

After forcing a three-and-out on Syracuse’s opening possession, Travis engineered a nine-play, 80-yard drive that included connecting on all five passes to take a 7-0 lead with 9:05 left in the quarter.  Travis scored the touchdown on a 2-yard keeper.

FSU made it 10 unanswered points when kicker Ryan Fitzgerald drilled a 48-yard field goal with 14:55 left in the first half to make it 10-0 Seminoles. 

Syracuse cut it to a one-score game with a 37-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.  The points came after one of the few sustained drives for the Orange offense that used 10 plays to cover 55 yards and set up the field goal.

Florida State wasted little time in stretching their lead when Travis found Coleman on a perfect route and he outraced the Orange defenders for a 58-yard score with 7:41 left before halftime

FSU’s defense held the Orange to just 97 yards in the first half, including only 26 on the ground.

The Seminoles went up 24-3 on their second possession of the second half. The biggest play on the drive was a 39-yard pass from Travis to Bell that set the Noles up at the Syracuse 31-yard line.  Five consecutive running plays put the Seminoles into the end zone when Travis scored his second rushing touchdown behind the left side of the offensive line. 

With just :22 left in the third quarter, Coleman electrified the crowd again with a 72-yard punt return to the Syracuse 9-yard line but the Seminoles had to settle for a 29-yard Fitzgerald field goal giving them a 27-3 lead with 14:06 left in the game, and keeping him perfect on seven field goal attempts this year.

FSU stretched the lead midway through the fourth when Toafili blew through the Orange defense on a 50-yard touchdown run that made it 34-3 FSU.

Junior Tate Rodemaker came in at quarterback for the Noles with 8:00 remaining and found receiver Hykeem Williams open on the right side and the freshman outraced the Syracuse secondary en route to a 44-yard touchdown that put FSU up 41-3 with just inside six minutes left.

Fittingly, the Nole’s defense snuffed Syracuse’s last offensive possession with an interception by Greedy Vance with eight seconds left.

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