Syracuse unable to keep momentum in 45-21 loss to FSU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An Eric Dungey touchdown late in the second quarter brought Syracuse within a touchdown of No. 17 Florida State and coach Scott Shafer thought the Orange had the momentum.
That momentum lasted as long as the ensuing kickoff.
Ryan Norton's mishit gave the Seminoles the ball near midfield with 54 seconds remaining. Seven plays later, Jacques Patrick scored on a 1-yard run up the middle as 17th-ranked Florida State regained control en route to a 45-21 victory on Saturday.
"It was supposed to be a drive kick, like the drive kick earlier in the game that was really good, he mishit it and they got great field position and we didn't do a good job standing up at that point," Shafer said. "It was a shame because I'd have felt really good about going in at halftime with some momentum and knowing that we were going to get the ball back in the third quarter" on the kickoff.
After winning its first three games, the Orange have dropped five straight and are 1-3 in the ACC.
The Seminoles had one of their best offensive displays of the season despite missing quarterback Everett Golson and one of the country's top runners in Dalvin Cook.
Sean Maguire passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns while Jacques Patrick added three scores on 162 yards.
"Our offense is very explosive. When we're executing and we're on, there's no stopping us. No matter who it is," said wide receiver Travis Rudolph, who had five receptions for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
The 45 points tied a season high and the 575 yards of total offense was the second highest this year for Florida State, which improves to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the ACC heading into next Saturday's Atlantic Division showdown at No. 3 Clemson.
Maguire, who took most snaps with the first team leading into the game, said he found out Friday he was going to start. Florida State did not make the announcement until two hours before kickoff that Golson would be held out due to a concussion. It had said earlier that Cook would be out with an ankle injury.
In his second career start, Maguire completed 23 of 35 passes. He had 302 yards in the first half, which is the first time a Florida State quarterback had done that since Chris Weinke also had 302 against Clemson in 2000.
Shafer said that even had they known earlier that Maguire was going to start, there wasn't enough tape to scout his tendencies.
"He hadn't played enough football to prepare for him. A good football player. There's a reason he's a quarterback at Florida State," Shafer said.
Patrick, who had three carries coming into the game, averaged 6.8 yards on 24 rushes. His longest run was a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that extended the Seminoles' lead to 45-21.
It is the second straight season that a Florida State freshman has posted his first 100-yard game against Syracuse. Cook rushed for 122 in a win at Syracuse last fall.
Dungey, who came into the game leading the ACC in passing efficiency, completed just 11 of 24 for 120 yards along with rushing for 46 yards on 10 carries.
Syracuse had momentum early. The Orange took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a Dungey 1-yard touchdown run that was set up by a 65-yard screen pass to Dontae Strickland. After Florida State got the kickoff, Rudolph caught a 75-yard touchdown from Maguire to tie it.
Rudolph broke four tackles including with a hard stiff arm as he headed to the end zone after catching the ball at the Syracuse 31. Rudolph then gave the Seminoles the lead with a 45-yard catch in the end zone.
"I feel like that set the tone right there. We just got out there and we played comfortable," Rudolph said of the first touchdown.
The Orange got within 21-14 on a Dungey 1-yard touchdown, but then came Norton's mishit. Syracuse's final touchdown came with 1:20 remaining on a Brisly Estime 59-yard punt return.
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