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Syracuse Loses a Heartbreaker in Tallahassee

Posted on October 2, 2021 at 7:45 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  The Syracuse Orange (3-1) traveled into Tallahassee for their first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) game of the season, visiting the Florida State Seminoles.

  Syracuse, since joining the ACC in 2013, has only defeated Florida State once, and has never won in Tallahassee versus Florida State inside ACC play, where they are 0-4.

  The Orange are 1-2 at home against the Seminoles in the ACC, with their only win coming back on Saturday, September 15, 2018, when they won 30-7 in the Dome.

  In this game, sophomore quarterback Garrett Shrader got his second start of the season, as promised by head coach Dino Babers, who said that Shrader would begin the game for the Orange agaianst the Seminoles after Shrader's first start resulted in his first win as a starter a week ago at home versus the Liberty Flames, which handed Liberty their first loss of the season.

  After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Orange had consectuive scores, both touchdowns, to give them their first lead of the day, 13-9, with 2:33 remaining before half.

  Before this, the Seminoles had taken an early 9-0 lead resulting from a 35-yard field goal on their opening drive of the game by redshirt-freshman kicker Ryan Fitzgerald in the first quarter and a 14-yard touchdown from redshirt-sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis to redshirt-junior tight end Camren McDonald in the second quarter.

  The first touchdown by Shrader came on a 55-yard run where Shrader made something out of nothing, aided by his blockers, including senior fullback Chris Elmore who made his debut on the field this season after not playing in the first four games due to undisclosed reasons.

  Shrader's second touchdown run came from five yards out, powering through to the end zone at that aforementioned 2:33 mark.

  But the Orange defense would allow the Seminoles to have success on the screen in back-to-back plays and would then bite when Travis looked at the screen again and then threw downfield to wide receiver Keyshawn Helton in the end zone who leapt to get the ball, reeling in the 14-yard score, giving the lead back to Florida State with 36 seconds before half, 16-13.

  Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Anthony Queeley seemed to make a heck of a catch but it was ruled incomplete, leaving Syarcuse on the Florida State 40 with a 3rd-&-10 situation and seven seconds left before the break.

  The officials would not review the play.

  Babers would then call his second timeout of the first half.

  Then, Babers would call his third and final timeout right after calling his second.

  Adding to the confusion, Babers would elect to have Shrader heave the ball into the end zone insteading of trusting redshirt-junior kicker and former Lou Groza Award winner, Andre Szmyt, to attempt what could have been the tying score, a 53-yard try that never was, leaving the Seminoles ahead 16-13 at the half.

  Florida State and Syracuse would trade punts to start the second half.

  The Seminoles would score on their second possession of the second half on a strange play where Travis attempted to complete the ball to Andrew Parchment that Parchment got his hand on but did not catch. Parchment would, however, pick the ball up and run in the live ball in from 10 yards out on a very unusual score that moved Florida State out to their first double-digit lead of the contest, 23-13, with 8:48 left in the third quarter.

  Syracuse would punt the ball away immediately after, on a three-&-out that saw Shrader sacked for a loss of six yards on the third play.

  But wide receiver Ontaria Wilson wouldlose the handle on a punt-return attempt and redhsirt-sophomore running back Cooper Lutz would gather the ball to give the Orange a new set of downs on the Seminoles' 34-yard line for the best offensive play that never was, from the previous drive.

  The Orange went to the run on four of their six plays on the drive created by Lutz, ending with a 4th-&-1 attempt by Shrader where he seemingly got the ball to the goal-line, but the officials ruled that he did not cross into the end zone, resulting in a turnover on downs.

  Syracuse's defense would allow Florida State nine yards on three-straight rushes on the next drive, forcing a three-and-out punt.

  Coming back out onto the field, the Orange offense would trust in the run once again, running on all four of their plays, with Tucker gaining four yards on the first play, followed by Shrader taking off for a 32-yard gain of his own that ended with a flip after he was hit. The third run would see Tucker go 12 yards and try to reach past the pilon but his foot was ruled out at the one-yard line. Shrader would get the lone yard needed on a leap that resembled what he did a week ago in a win at home over Liberty, this carry bringing Syracuse back to within a field goal, 23-20, with nine seconds remaining in the third quarter.

  Florida State would respond immediately, scoring on a five-play drive where redshirt-freshman running back Treshaun Ward would take off on a 65-yard run that would get three more yards redshirt-freshman defensive back Aman Greenwood to the Syracuse 2, followed by redshirt-sophomore running back Jashaun Corbin up the middle for the remaining two to extend back out to a 10-point advantage, 30-20, with 13:24 to go.

  The Orange responded with a six-play drive that saw them advance to the end zone themselves, this on a pass from Shrader to Queeley for a 26-yard score that once again shrunk their deficit to three, 30-27, with 10:35 remaining.

  Syracuse true freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut would stretch out and intercept Travis on the Florida State 41-yard, setting up a drive where Szmyt connect from 24 yards away to tie the game at 30 with 5:17 left on the game clock.

  Both teams would punt the ball away on their next respective drives.

  Then, Travis would elude the Orange defense multiple times, turning what could have been major losses into major gains, including runs of 33 yards and then 25 yards.

  Ryan Fitzgerald booted the game-winner through the uprights as time expired, avenging a missed extra point attempt in the second quarter, with Florida State taking this match-up 33-30.

  The victory is the Seminoles' first in the ACC this season, and first overall, giving them a 1-2 record in the ACC and 1-4 overall record.

  Syracuse is now 0-1 in the ACC after this loss in their conference debut this season, and moves to 3-2 overall after a 3-1 record in non-conference play.

  Shrader accounted for all four touchdowns for the Orange, three rushing and one passing. He ended his second start for Syracuse 13-for-23 for 150 yards with the aforementioned passing touchdown to go with one interception. Shrader was the leading rusher for the Orange in this game, gaining 137 yards on 16 carries (8.6 yards per carry) and his three rushing scores also led the team.

  Tucker attained at least 100 yards rushing for his fourth time in five games this season, amounting 102 yards on 24 carries (4.3 yards per carry). Up until this match-up, Syracuse was 3-0 when Tucker gained at least 100 yards on the ground.

  This game was also the first contest where Tucker did not have a rushing touchdown this season, with Tucker having scored on the ground in all four previous games for the Orange.

  Travis ended up 22-for-32 for 131 yards, with two passing touchdowns and one interception.

  Like Shrader, Travis was the leading rusher for his team as well, accumulating 113 yards on 19 carries (5.9 yards per carry), but did not score on the ground.

  Ward and Corbin followed Travis with 66 yards and 65 yards, respectively.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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