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NCAA Football: Syracuse Getting Six Points at Florida State
There's no way to sugar coat FSU's struggles this year even though they lost starting QB Deondre Francois in the opener against Alabama. This was supposed to be a top 5 team that would win the ACC and make the college football playoffs. A healthy Francois would have made this a different squad for sure, but FSU has issues that extend far beyond the QB position.
Struggles on Both Sides
For starters, the Seminoles have a questionable offensive line that ranks 118 in sacks allowed entering Saturday's game against Syracuse. In part, this explains why they are so offensively inept, but to watch FSU opearate its offense tells yet another story. This is a unit that is rarely in-sync, struggles to sustain drives and surprisingly lacks playmaking threats.
In short, FSU has a crummy offense and it show on the scoreboard. The Noles haven't scored over 28 points in any game this season and that was against a horrific Louisville defense. The wheels came completely off last week at Boston College in a game FSU lost 35-3.
Defensively, FSU has been mediocre, struggling against the run at times and playing far below the sum of its parts for a team that returned nine starters, including two preseason All-Americans. Last week the Noles defense was repeatedly gashed by a more physical Boston College team.
At this point in the year, FSU (2-5) has little left to play for besides pride. It seems unlikely the Seminoles will make a bowl unless they are able to win their last four games. To make matters worse, the fanbase seems to be collectively turning its back on head coach Jimbo Fisher and the stadium will be far from capacity for this game in Tallahassee.
Orange Competitive Against Everyone
It could have been an ugly year for Syracuse (4-4) after losing to Middle Tennessee State in the second game of the season, but these Orangemen didn't seem to dwell on the setback.
They've been competitive in every game since despite playing a tough schedule that included back to back games against LSU and NC State.
Then came the turning point in the season, when Syracuse sent shock waves through the college football world with its October 13 upset of then second-ranked Clemson.
The Orange are still riding high from that win and returned to battle unbeaten Miami admirably October 21 before losing 27-19 on the road. In short Syracuse is efficient on both sides of the ball and feature a hurry-up offense, a mobile QB in Eric Dungey, and a star WR in Steve Ishmael that will present plenty of problems for FSU.
The Bottom Line
Expect Syracuse to move the ball well against FSU. On the other side of things, it's difficult to bank on where FSU's points might come from. Syracuse is in position to climb in the ACC standings and punch its ticket to a decent bowl game if they are able to finish the season strong.
They have more motivation than FSU, and are frankly playing better football right now. Getting six points in this game seems like a gift, making this a prime betting opportunity in week 10 of the college football season.
The Pick: TAKE Syracuse +6
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