Five things to wonder about the FSU-Syracuse game on Sunday:
Does Syracuse stand a chance?
It wouldn’t appear so. The Orangemen have struggled defensively all season, and with Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook coming to town, things don’t get easier. Cook is the seventh-leading rusher in the nation. Francois is the 25th-ranked passer, and the top-rated freshman passer, in the country. Syracuse has stayed even with some teams on its way to a 4-6 record, but quarterback Eric Dungey (the 14th-rated passer in America) is likely out injured. If FSU can keep from beating itself, it should win comfortably.
Could Dungey give Syracuse a chance?
Not with that defense. Other quarterbacks ranked in Dungey’s area have given the Seminoles fits, but overall, Syracuse doesn’t have the staying power.
Can Dalvin Cook get to 1,500 yards again?
Sure, if he has a good game Saturday. Syracuse has the 116th-rated defense in America (86th against the run). Cook is seventh in the league. He needs 258 yards. But a tough Florida defense awaits in the finale. The Gators rank ninth in the country against the run, giving up 111 yards per game. To be safe, Cook needs 175-200 yards against Syracuse.
Is the FSU defense cured?
It’s played better lately, especially in a 45-7 victory over Boston College last week. But the Seminoles have played a lot of great quarterbacks this season. Dungey was supposed to be another, but with his injury, it’s hard to see Syracuse mounting a major threat.
Besides Cook, who of the Seminoles is finishing off a terrific season?
How about defensive end DeMarcus Walker, who is third in the nation with 11 sacks? Tavarius McFadden continues to lead the nation in interceptions with seven. Francoise is 325 yards away from 3,000. Travis Rudolph is 320 yards away from 1,000, which would be a stretch to achieve.