Syracuse-Florida State Preview CapsuleBy The Associated Press , Associated Press
Nov. 14, 2013 11:52 AM ET
Syracuse (5-4, 3-2 ACC) at No. 2 Florida State (9-0, 7-0), 3:30 p.m. EDT (ABC/ESPN2)
Line: Florida State by 39.
Series record: Florida State 5-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Florida State is ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings and shouldn't fall with victories in its final three regular season games and the ACC championship. The Seminoles will be significant favorites in each. The national title is at stake every week. Syracuse can't win the ACC Atlantic Division, but still has the opportunity for a winning season in its first under coach Scott Shafer and first in the conference. The Orange have a chance for their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2000-01.
Florida State boasts the No. 2 scoring offense in the FBS and has NFL-caliber talent at every position. The Seminoles are dangerous enough without regularly converting third downs. Syracuse has been adept in that area and ranks No. 7 in the country with an opponent conversion rate of 30.0 percent. Florida State has converted 52.53 percent of its third down.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: RB Jerome Smith has rushed for 705 yards and is tied for No. 2 in the ACC with 10 touchdowns rushing. His eight career 100-yard rushing games is tied for ninth-most in school history. Smith has 2,010 career yards rushing, the 21st player in Syracuse history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau.
Florida State: LB Telvin Smith leads the Seminoles with 56 tackles, including 6 ½ for loss. The Florida State defense is set up for the linemen to take on blocks and allow linebackers to run free to the ball. Smith has the speed to chase ball carriers sideline-to-sideline and the strength to shake offensive linemen. He'll have the opportunity to put up big numbers against the Jerome Smith-led offense.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Seminoles have scored on 50-of-51 trips to the red zone — an FBS high. ... Twelve players have picked off a pass for Florida State. ... The Orange average 237.0 yards rushing during ACC play — second in the conference. ... Syracuse has allowed three points in its last two games. ... Florida State CB Lamarcus Joyner leads the team with 3.5 sacks.