As far as debuts go it couldn’t have gone any worse for Willie Taggart and the Seminoles. Then Samford happened. It’s been a rough start for Florida State. A late fourth quarter rally saved them from disaster against Samford. Next up ACC play continues against Syracuse.
1ST Down: The Details
Matchup: Florida State (1-1) at Syracuse (2-0)
When: Noon on Saturday
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
TV/radio: ESPN| WZNZ-AM 1600
2ND Down: Slowing Down Orange QB Eric Dungey
Last week Samford quarterback Delvin Hodges threw for 475 yards. The Seminoles defense will have an even greater challenge in facing Dungey.
Dungey has 646 yards of total offense and has thrown for seven TDs with one interception in wins over Western Michigan and FCS foe Wagner to start his senior season.
“He’s a hell of a competitor. Kid loves to compete,” said Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart, who faced Dungey while he was head coach at South Florida. “He can cause you a lot of problems. Our guys are going to have our hands full going against him and, hopefully, it’s just one of those bad days for him that day.”
Syracuse’s up-tempo offense has scored 117 points in the first two games to rank sixth nationally, and Dungey has hit five different players with TD passes, led by Jamal Custis with three.
3rd Down: Akers Grounded
Running back Cam Akers was a force in last year’s game against Syracuse, rushing for 199 yards on just 22 carries and scoring twice on the way to a 1,000-yard season as a freshman. So far this year behind an inexperienced offensive line he has 158 yards on 28 carries, an average of 5.6 yards per carry. That’s deceiving because one of his runs was for 85 yards against Virginia Tech, which means he’s gained just 73 yards on the other 27 rushes, an average of 2.7.
“I think he’s just got to relax a little bit and trust his training,” Taggart said.
Getting the running game established would go a long ways to helping take some pressure off of quarterback Deondre Francois, who has taken several hits over the first two games.
4th Down: Facts and Figures
-Since 1976, the Seminoles are 32-10 (.762) in their first road game of the season.
-Florida State has won 10 straight games against Syracuse, including all four contests played in the Carrier Dome.
-Florida State ranks 120th in pass defense (341 yards per game) and 95th in total defense (422), and the Seminoles have fizzled a lot in the first half.