Syracuse Unlikely to Make Bowl After 45-14 Thrashing To Florida State
By Andrew Morris
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Coming into Syracuse’s matchup against Florida State, the Orange defense just needed to hold Dalvin Cook to less than 19 yards to keep him behind Warrick Dunn’s all-time record for career rushing yards at Florida State.
It only took about five minutes for that record to be broken.
SU ended up letting Cook run for 225 yards and a season-high four touchdowns en route to a 45-14 Florida State smashing of Syracuse on Senior Day in the Carrier Dome. The Seminoles jumped out in front early, scoring on their first two possessions, and never looked back.
Syracuse, on the other hand, struggled mightily to piece together anything on offense with their play-making quarterback Eric Dungey not playing due to injury. The Orange offense only managed to gain 233 total yards – second-lowest this year. Backup Zack Mahoney only completed 16 of his 36 passes for 2 touchdowns – one of which a Hail Mary to end the half – and 2 interceptions. For almost the entire game he looked flustered progressing through his reads, and was sacked 8 times.
“They did a really good job,” said head coach Dino Babers. “They pressured our quarterback, overpowered our offensive line. From an offensive standpoint, we really couldn’t support the defense and special teams and the things they were doing. It was a lot of old guys against a lot of young guys.”
Evidently, it may have been the special teams that was the sole shining spot to Syracuse’s performance, resulting from the many failed SU drives in the game. The Orange punted 10 times in the game, and 6 of those punts from Sterling Hofrichter land inside the 20-yard line.
Now while Syracuse is now officially out of an automatic bowl berth with the loss, SU may still be able to qualify for a bowl invite from the NCAA as a 5-win team due to a recently enacted rule. The rule gives the top five to seven 5-win teams a bowl berth, and that’s based on APR, or academic progress rate.
Featured Image Credit: Nick Lisi, AP Images