Seminoles soar over SU football in another lopsided loss

FSU soar over SU football in lopsided loss

The Orange offense failed to score a touchdown in the 38-point loss to No. 4 Florida State

Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) makes a leaping one handed catch over Syracuse Orange defensive back Jason Simmons Jr. (6) in the first half during the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla
Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) makes a leaping one-handed catch over Syracuse defensive back Jason Simmons Jr. (6) in the first half during Saturday’s game in Tallahassee.

Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

Syracuse football lost 41-3 against No. 4 Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday. The Seminoles never felt in danger, despite a mediocre performance for most of the game.

Syracuse’s offense once again stuttered, scoring only three points. The Orange head into their bye week with a three-game losing streak – all of the defeats coming against ACC opponents.

Here are three takeaways from the Orange’s defeat.

Neon Keon torches SU

Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman was outstanding once again, finishing with 247 total yards and a SportsCenter-top-ten-worthy one-handed catch.

 The wideout continued to raise his draft stock, solidifying himself as one of the top receiving prospects in next year’s NFL draft. After the first half, Coleman had six catches for 114 yards, more than SU’s entire offense. 

His lone touchdown on the day came from a slant-and-go route where Coleman burned redshirt senior cornerback Isaiah Johnson.

He capped his dominant display with a 72-yard punt return which saw Florida State begin their drive from inside the Syracuse ten-yard line. 

Syracuse has struggled to contain dynamic players like Coleman all season. Their inability to keep star players quiet has been a major factor in their three losses this year.

Defense can’t capitalize on FSU mistakes

Until garbage time in the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s defense largely held its own. The Orange, though largely unable to defend Coleman, did the best they could against Heisman-hopeful Jordan Travis. Two fourth-down stops in the second quarter proved to be insignificant as the offense could not capitalize on the momentum.

In the first half, the Orange forced a fumble that bounced around and out of junior defensive back Justin Barron’s heavily taped hands and eventually ended back in the arms of Florida State. 

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Jordan Travis threw a pass that went through the hands of running back Trey Benson and pinballed around Orange defenders before hitting the ground unceremoniously. These two plays – while in retrospect unimportant – could have given Syracuse a shot against the Seminoles.

Shaky Shrader and conservative play-calling

This one hurts. 

Since his performance at Purdue, SU quarterback Garrett Shrader has looked rather underwhelming. Granted, he has not had an easy run of opponents, but the senior quarterback was once again shut down by the opposing defense. Shrader ran only four times for nine yards against a Seminoles defensive line that has struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks this season. 

Worse yet was the conservative play-calling throughout the game that never gave Syracuse a real shot to pull off the upset. Down 24-3, Syracuse decided to kick a field goal on fourth-and-six instead of attempting to pick up the first down. The head-scratching decision was made all the more ineffective when sophomore kicker Brady Denaburg missed the kick wide left. 

Throughout the game, the Orange play callers refused to take chances. Most of Shrader’s passes were short check-downs although when he did test FSU’s secondary, receivers Damien Alford and Umari Hatcher found moderate success. 

The fact of the matter is, no team is going to beat Florida State when they score only three points. Syracuse’s conservative play-calling limited turnovers, but never let the Orange really challenge the Seminoles.  

By the midpoint of the fourth quarter, Shrader was benched for redshirt sophomore quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, who was also unable to get things going for the Orange. 

There are bright spots for Syracuse – even though the scoreline is rather unsettling. Running back LeQuint Allen Jr. had a good game, with 19 carries for 110 yards. For most of the game, the defense also played fairly well given their dominant opponent. While the wheels fell off at the end, there were some good moments for Rocky Long’s unit. 

Syracuse will look to regroup during its bye week and prepare themselves for a game in one of college football’s toughest environments – Blacksburg, VA – against one of their weaker ACC opponents – Virginia Tech.