With Syracuse on a three-game losing streak and the health of quarterback Garrett Shrader in question, the Orange’s odds place them as decent underdogs vs. a Florida State team coming off its best performance of the year.
The Orange (6-3, 3-2 ACC) were held to a season-low nine points in a 19-9 loss at Pittsburgh last weekend without Shrader. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson was just 8-for-23 passing for 120 yards, and Sean Tucker amassed just 19 yards on 10 carries.
The defense played well overall, holding a team to fewer than 20 points for the first time since a 24-9 win over NC State in mid-October. The run game, however, still struggled. Rodney Hammond Jr. ran for 124 yards and a score for Pitt.
Shrader’s Health Is Key vs. Florida State
Garrett Shrader is officially questionable for this game, which makes betting on it difficult. Head coach Dino Babers is still playing the injury close to the vest.
It appears, however, to be a lower-body injury because Shrader did not run the ball at all against Notre Dame before being removed from that contest at halftime. Del Rio-Wilson is preparing like he will start this game, and he will need to be more like the quarterback he was in the second half against the Irish instead of how he was in Pittsburgh. Playing in front of the home crowd should certainly help.
Both Syracuse and Florida State Have Similar Defenses, but Seminoles Have Offensive Edge
Syracuse and Florida State (6-3, 4-3 ACC) are just about even on defense. Both teams are allowing 165 passing yards per game and around 143 rushing yards per contest. The Orange have seen that rushing number rise, however, in the last three weeks.
And the Seminoles are doing a better job carrying the ball on offense. They are averaging 211 yards on the ground, compared to SU’s 149. They also have an advantage in the passing game, leading to total offensive numbers of 483 yards per game for FSU and just 369 for Syracuse.
Making matters worse for SU, Florida State is coming off a supremely impressive performance on the road against rival Miami last week, winning in a rout 45-3.
Jordan Travis passed just 12 times in that game but completed 10 of those throws for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Trey Benson ran for 128 yards and two scores. The defense sacked the quarterback four times and recorded two interceptions.
Syracuse vs. Florida State Odds and Key to the Game
Here’s a look at the odds for Syracuse vs. Florida State, courtesy of BetMGM.
|Florida State Seminoles||-7||51||-250|
One of the keys of this game will be whether Syracuse can stop Benson and if Tucker can get back on track for the Orange. In their 2021 meeting, which was a 33-30 win by the Noles thanks to a last-second field goal, both Tucker and Shrader ran for over 100 yards.
But in reading the tea leaves, it feels like Shrader will not play. If he does, expect him to be limited in the running game. That will allow the Seminoles’ defense to zero in more on Tucker and force Del Rio-Wilson or Shrader to beat them with their arm. And that will be a tall task given FSU’s strong pass defense.
Prediction: Florida State 28, Syracuse 13 (FSU covers -7, under 51)