Syracuse football’s 5 keys against No. 17 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) looks to end a four-game losing streak on Saturday at No. 17 Florida State (6-1, 4-1) in Tallahassee, Florida. The Orange lost to the Seminoles 38-20 last season and 59-3 the previous year. FSU is coming off its first regular-season loss in nearly three years. For all of The Daily Orange’s coverage, keep up with dailyorange.com and follow @DOSports on Twitter.Here are five keys to the game.1. Handling a tough environmentIn practice this week, Syracuse cranked up the heat in the Ensley Athletic Center and blasted Florida State’s “War Chant” to help prep the team for what it’ll be facing in Tallahassee. The Orange’s only other road games were at South Florida and Virginia, two far less challenging places to play.For freshmen who will be seeing significant minutes — i.e.: quarterback Eric Dungey and running back Jordan Fredericks — it will be the toughest collegiate environment they’ve ever played in.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text2. Stopping Dalvin Cook’s backupFlorida State’s star running back, and widely considered the second best in the country, was ruled out for Saturday’s game due to an ankle injury. Backup Jonathan Vickers has just 47 rushing yards on the year. The injury to Cook gives Syracuse an opportunity to set the tempo with a strong running game of its own if SU can get off the field on defense, a point of emphasis for the Orange coaching staff of late.3. Eric Dungey’s progressionDungey has been efficient early on in his freshman season but two interceptions against Pittsburgh slowed his progress. With All-American cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety Lamarcus Brutus, who has two picks this year, in the secondary, passing against FSU is a tall task as Dungey faces his toughest test yet.4. Steve Ishmael continuing strong playIn the past four games, Ishmael has hauled in 20 catches for 228 yards. After catching just five balls in the first three games, he’s now playing like the player he was expected to be at the start of the season. His recent success though has partially been a result of favorable matchups. Against a team that’s loaded in the secondary — and basically everywhere else — Ishmael’s performance could show where he stacks up against some of the best on Syracuse’s schedule.5. Don’t fall apartIn each of the past four games, all losses, the Orange was within a touchdown in the fourth quarter at the bare minimum. In the past two weeks, Virginia and Pittsburgh drove 85-plus yards on the final possession of the fourth quarter to either send it to overtime or win it. While SU is nearly a three-touchdown underdog, if the Orange was to have a lead or be tied late in the game, not blowing it has proven to be a challenge. And if that was to happen again, Syracuse would face the task of having to win three of its last four to become bowl eligible. Commentslast_img

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