Florida State puts a beat down on Syracuse football, 45-14, in SU’s final home game of season

first_imgSyracuse’s bench slowly trudged onto the field, many with their heads down, despite the clock being frozen with seven seconds left in the game. Brisly Estime had tears in his eyes, though he said he wasn’t emotional. None of the players mentioned a bowl game anymore, just playing competitive against Pittsburgh next week — none even mentioned a win.SU head coach Dino Babers declared a week earlier that Syracuse was down to its last strike. “Now we can’t miss a pitch. It’s a full count and if it’s close, we’re going to have to swing at it.”And the Orange (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) followed it up with a 45-14 blowout loss to No. 17 Florida State (8-3, 5-3) in the Carrier Dome in SU’s final home game of the year. By Babers’ logic, Syracuse struck out. But even he backed away from his statement when asked directly what the count is following the loss, opting not to address it at all.“I think we didn’t play very well against a very, very good football team,” he said in response. “I thought the defense gave us turnovers. I mean those guys are hard to stop. And defense gave us a lot of turnovers. (Estime) did some nice jobs on the special teams trying to give us an opportunity. Sean (Riley) did some nice things in the opportunity. But offensively it was just very difficult to move the ball.”SU no longer controls its own destiny. A win against Pitt in its final game would put the Orange in position for a bowl game, but only if 5-7 teams are needed to fill the allotment and if SU’s academic progress rate is good enough to get a bid.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMORE COVERAGE:Dino Babers: Eric Dungey hasn’t received second opinion on injuryGrade SU’s performance against FSU and vote for player of the gameSee how Syracuse fans reacted to the game on social media Syracuse couldn’t replicate the improbable upset of then-No.17 Virginia Tech from a month earlier that led to students and fans storming the field. Instead, it had fans streaming out of the Dome before the fourth quarter as its bowl hopes were dealt a near-crushing blow.The Seminoles scored on their first two drives of the game, going a total of 131 yards in nine plays and under four minutes. FSU quarterback Deondre Francois found two receivers for scores of 15 and 16 yards, respectively, with the help of blown coverages by the Orange.Even when the defense buckled down, the offense couldn’t capitalize. Zack Mahoney threw two picks and SU totaled minus-seven yards on two drives in the first half that started in FSU territory.The Orange fouled off a few pitches by way of a 46-yard Hail Mary pass to Amba Etta-Tawo as time expired in the second quarter for SU’s only score of the half. And a touchdown pass to Ervin Philips after FSU muffed a punt at its own 22.But none of its positive plays could erase the beat down that was happening throughout the rest of the game or clear the count on the season.Mahoney threw two interceptions and was sacked eight times. FSU’s Dalvin Cook ran for 225 yards and four touchdowns — only eight fewer yards than SU’s entire offense.When Orange cornerback Chris Fredrick recovered a fumble with 13 minutes left in the game there was no reaction from the crowd or the players on the field. Fredrick just jogged to the sideline with the ball and high-fived one assistant coach. Most of the fans had already left the 42-14 game anyway.Leading up to the Florida State game, Babers was still talking about SU’s first bowl game in three years. With two wins, the Orange would have been guaranteed a spot. But with one win, which is still possible, SU had what Babers called “a chance,” that it was fortunate to have.Afterward, his tone changed.“The main thing is we’re trying to send the seniors out on a proper note,” Babers said. “We need to go out there, and we need to play a good football game — a competitive football game down to the fourth quarter when we have a chance to win. And I think that’s the key to bouncing back from all this stuff and trying to send the seniors out on a positive note.” Comments Published on November 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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