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Five Plays that Changed the Game: FSU vs. Syracuse

Five plays that led to Florida State's first victory of the season.

There was a lot of back and forth in last Saturday’s Florida State vs. Syracuse game. In this week’s ‘Five Plays that Changed the Game’, we look at the plays that had the most impact on the Seminoles’ 33-30 win.

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Florida State led for most of last Saturday’s game against the Orange, but it made it a lot harder than it needed to be in the second half. the Seminoles were able to trade blows with Syracuse in a game that came down the team with the ball last. Here are our top five plays.

1. Jordan Travis Big Run #1 

3rd and 7 at Syracuse’s 38 yard line - FSU needed to get another 10 yards to feel really comfortable about the field goal attempt to win the game. Not only did Travis deliver those needed yards, but he was able to bust free for a gain of 25 that put the ball at the Syracuse 13. FSU kicked the winning field goal two plays later.

2. Jordan Travis Big Run #2 

Earlier in the late game possession, FSU had 2nd down from its own 26 with 23 seconds left in the game. Jordan was able to create with his legs, but it was his slight fake acting like he was going out of bounds that caused the Syracuse defender to let off, which Travis then took advantage of. This play was huge - FSU was close to playing for OT but the play by Travis allowed the 'Noles to push for the game-winning kick.

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3. FSU Stands Tall at the Goal line

Absolutely huge series by the defense after a turnover on special teams. The defense was reeling and this is when the game felt it was about to fall apart for the 'Noles. After two chunk runs by Sean Tucker, Syracuse got to the 1-yard line. With 3:34 left in the third quarter and FSU clinging to a 10 point lead, the defense stuffed Garrett Shrader at the 6-inch line. Great job blowing the Syracuse offensive line off the ball and gang tackling Shrader to prevent the score.

4. Syracuse Makes a Great Play on a Quick Out 

FSU had been pounding the quick game outside all night vs. the Orange. Midway through the 4th and with the ball in its territory, FSU gained a first down, up 30-27. On the ensuing play, Darian Chestnut was able to beat an FSU block and beat the offense, picking off a quick out to the receiver. Syracuse was able to kick a field goal to tie the game 7 plays later.

5. FSU Scores Before the Half 

Despite controlling much of the first half, FSU found itself down 13-9 with 2:18 left in the half. After an interception by Syracuse was called back for a hold, FSU was able to get the ball downfield using both the run and pass game. After running a lot of quick game outside, FSU had Syracuse set up - on 1st down from the 16 the Orange sat on the quick stuff, allowing Keyshawn Helton to get open up the seam. Helton made a great diving catch on a rocket thrown by Travis, putting the 'Noles up 16-13 going into the half. 

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