Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
Florida State finally is in the win column.
An awful September is in the rear-view mirror as the Seminoles started October with their first win of the season.
The ‘Noles avoided losing to Syracuse at home for the first time in program history with a 33-30 victory at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.
Early on, Syracuse could not get anything going on offense, but hung close due to a strong effort by its defense.
The Seminoles went up early, going up 3-0, then 9-0 as tight end Cam McDonald rumbled into the end zone. Syracuse answered, as Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader rolled out of the pocket and hit the jets for a 55-yard touchdown run.
Shrader followed up on the next drive by bowling over two Seminole linebackers and falling into the end zone to put his team up, 13-9.
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis hit wideout Keyshawn Helton for a 14-yard score on the following drive as the ‘Noles retook the lead.
After some poor time management by Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, the first half clock ran out with the Seminoles up 16-13.
A Character-Building Win
The ‘Noles started their second-half scoring early. Wide receiver Andrew Parchment scooped up an errant lateral pass and took it in for a three-yard touchdown to give Florida State a 23-13 lead.
All FSU had to do was keep building its lead, but Syracuse kept fighting. Garrett Shrader notched his third score as he leapt over a pile of defenders to score from a yard out.
FSU answered quickly as running back Treshaun Ward juked a Syracuse defender and scampered 65 yards downfield to set up a Jashaun Corbin touchdown run.
Down 30-20, Syracuse came roaring back. The Orange defense stood tall as their offense scored 10 points on the next two drives to tie it.
FSU and Syracuse traded punts on the next two drives. FSU gained possession on its own 21-yard-line with 1:03 remaining.
Travis flashed his athleticism on the final drive. The shifty quarterback consistently escaped the pocket and turned sacks into big gains of 33 and 25 yards.
The crowd erupted as kicker Ryan Fitzgerald nailed a 34-yard field goal as time expired. FSU had finally won a game.
FSU head coach Mike Norvell can breath a sigh of relief for once this season. Norvell’s Seminoles finally got out of their own way and notched a win — something they hadn’t been able to do thus far.
The ‘Noles may have found their quarterback for the moment. Florida State has traded signal callers for the majority of the season, but Travis finally settled in and shined. His shiftiness and athletic ability allowed the offense more opportunities to succeed.
Travis said in his postgame interview that this win shows the direction this team is heading. The Seminoles will have a chance to prove that next weekend when they travel to take on North Carolina.