October 07, 2014

(AP) - Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is a man of many catchphrases. He constantly preached that the Seminoles needed an ''attitude of domination'' after being crowned national champions last season.

Although that attitude has been difficult to achieve, the Seminoles have continued to find ways to win - something that proved difficult for teams across the country this week.

Top-ranked Florida State again takes aim at a more complete showing Saturday when it visits struggling Syracuse.

The Seminoles' offense shouldered much of the load for this season's first four games, but hit a brick wall Saturday against a Wake Forest team largely considered the worst in the ACC. The defense, however, shined and led the way to a 43-3 victory.

''I told our kids after the game, 'Go enjoy playing,''' Fisher said. ''It's like the pressure of playing today - you've got to win, you've got to do this. Are you dominant? Who cares? Who cares if you're as dominant as you were last year? Just keep getting better at being the team you are and enjoy playing the game of football."

Despite another subpar performance, Florida State (5-0, 3-0) won Saturday - something that eluded Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, all undefeated and ranked in the top 6 last week.

Quarterback Jameis Winston did very little wrong en route to winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, but he's had plenty of ups and downs in 2014. Winston has eight touchdown passes to five interceptions after totaling 40 TDs to 10 picks last season. He needed a fourth-quarter touchdown pass Saturday to keep alive his steak of a TD pass in every collegiate game he's played.

Few mention him in the Heisman conversation, but the 'Noles sit atop the college football world with a little more breathing room after the weekend's madness.

''A win is never bad," Winston said. "We love winning, but there's always room for improvement and there's always room to get better.

"I promise you, just wait, just wait, just wait on it. We're going to get it going.''

Florida State set the school and ACC record with 7,267 yards in 2013, but rank No. 39 in the nation in total offense this season. The 2013 Seminoles were the No. 1 pass defense in the country and set a school record with 26 interceptions, but now rank No. 30 in pass defense.

''When Florida State plays Florida State football and our defense is clicking and the offense is clicking, we're going to be a fun team to watch,'' Winston said.

The Seminoles played pretty close to perfect in last season's 59-3 home win over Syracuse.

Florida State averaged 11.6 yards per play as Winston was 19 of 21 for 277 yards and the team ran for 225 yards. The Seminoles have outscored the Orange by an average 29.2 points during their six-game win streak in the series.

Syracuse (2-3, 0-1) has lost three straight overall and turns to a new quarterback after Terrel Hunt suffered a broken calf bone late in last Friday night's 28-6 home loss to Louisville.

Hunt is the Orange's top rusher with 307 yards and has a team-best six rushing TDs. He's also completed 83 of 145 passes for 983 yards, but has four interceptions to one touchdown pass.

Austin Wilson and AJ Long, a freshman who enrolled in January, are listed on the depth chart at QB.

Not only will Syracuse have someone new under center, there could be some new offensive looks after Tim Lester was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Monday.

''We'll have to guess a little bit about how they're going to do things on offense,'' Fisher said. ''You just go back to what they do and think about they've got three days to do what they're going to do.''

The Orange have scored only nine touchdowns in 19 trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line, and the team has converted a dismal 33.8 percent of third downs. Against Louisville, Syracuse managed a field goal in each half.

''We are never going to give up,'' Orange nose tackle Wayne Williams said. ''We are going to keep on playing hard all the time until the clock hits zero. We're sticking together as a family. We will take this out together, and next week we are going to try to get a win together.''

Florida State is also banged up with three starters nursing injuries.

Center Austin Barron is out with an arm injury and will be replaced by redshirt freshman Ryan Hoefeld. Leading receiver Rashad Greene is expected to play after suffering a concussion last week, while leading rusher Karlos Williams injured his ankle against Wake and is in a walking boot.

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