Sunday, November 18, 2018
Colleges

Freshman Cam Akers leads Florida State past Syracuse 27-24

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has experienced plenty of frustration this season, but it finally had a couple of things bounce its way Saturday.

The Seminoles took their first double-digit lead of the season in the second quarter but still needed to go to the final play to hold on for a 27-24 win over Syracuse.

FSU led 27-17 with 6:48 left, but the Orange nearly forced overtime before Cole Murphy’s 43-yard field goal attempt went wide right as time expired. The Seminoles (3-5, 3-4 ACC) snapped a two-game losing streak and got their first home win of the season in four attempts.

"There has been a lot of disappointment and bad performances but this was a good team win," said safety Derwin James, whose interception on Syracuse’s opening drive helped set up FSU’s first touchdown.

FSU’s 40-year winning record and 35-year bowl streaks seemed doomed after a 35-3 loss at Boston College on Oct. 27. This win gives the Seminoles a chance to keep both alive.

"A lot of guys were laying out blood, sweat and tears. We’re trying not to let that end and owe that to the people who came before us," James said.

Cam Akers had 199 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns. The freshman, who posted his third 100-yard game of the season, had touchdown runs of 54 and 63 yards during the second quarter.

"He runs hard and finishes every run in practice, so I wasn’t surprised." James said. "Every time he runs the ball it is very exciting. He is reminding me on some of those runs how Dalvin (Cook) did" the previous two seasons.

James Blackman was 12-of-19 for 136 yards. The freshman put the Seminoles on the scoreboard on his first pass, a 51-yard touchdown to Nyqwan Murray. It was the second time FSU had scored on its opening drive.

Syracuse (4-5, 2-3) was looking to become the first team since North Carolina in 2010 to defeat Clemson and FSU in the same season, but coach Dino Babers’ decision to eschew a chip-shot field goal and go for a touchdown late in the second quarter ended up looming large.

The Orange trailed 21-14 with 1:18 left in the half but got excellent field position after D.J. Matthews muffed a punt at the FSU 11. On fourth and 3 from the FSU 4, Eric Dungey had to scramble and was pressured by James before his pass into the end zone fell incomplete.

"If we were tied at halftime, the odds are greatly going into our favor that we are going to win the game based off things we have done in the second half. We went for the touchdown. We went for the win," Babers said.

 
Comments
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Where to rank UCF?

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Where to rank UCF?

The Knights belong somewhere in the 6-9 tier ... but where?
Published: 11/18/18
Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

The announced attendance (57,274) was the smallest announced crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since the Virginia Tech game in 1988 (50,901). Crowds are down across the sport, but the empty seats were a bad sign in Year 1 of the Willie Taggart Era.RELAT...
Published: 11/17/18
Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Deondre Francois found Tamorrion Terry for the 74-yard game winning touchdown pass. Now FSU must beat the Gators next week to make a bowl game.
Published: 11/17/18
FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

TALLAHASSEE — It took until the 11th game, but Florida State's rushing offense finally started to click the way the Seminoles expected with a talented backfield and a coach with a history of excellent runners.FSU rushed 36 times for 156 yards. ...
Published: 11/17/18
No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

GAINESVILLE — Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and No. 15 Florida ran up 600 total yards to rout overmatched Idaho 63-10 on SaturdayFlorida rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators ...
Published: 11/17/18
The end of ‘The Streak’ would be another sorry chapter for Florida State

The end of ‘The Streak’ would be another sorry chapter for Florida State

Florida State's run of 36 consecutive bowl games, which began under Bobby Bowden, might screech to a halt this afternoon under Willie Taggart
Published: 11/16/18
Hot seat watch, coaches in contention to move up, Jimbo Fisher flashback and more college football notes

Hot seat watch, coaches in contention to move up, Jimbo Fisher flashback and more college football notes

Yes, Skip Holtz flopped at USF, but he's doing very well at Louisiana Tech...
Published: 11/16/18
Gators-Idaho, UCF-Cincinnati, bowl streaks in jeopardy and more state college football notes

Gators-Idaho, UCF-Cincinnati, bowl streaks in jeopardy and more state college football notes

Hopefully Florida and Idaho get to play an offensive snap this time, unlike in 2014.
Published: 11/16/18
Heisman Trophy watch: Kyler Murray catching up to Tua Tagovailoa

Heisman Trophy watch: Kyler Murray catching up to Tua Tagovailoa

It's still a two-man race, but the gap isn't as large as it seemed a few weeks ago.
Published: 11/16/18
Who has been more disappointing: Florida State or Miami?

Who has been more disappointing: Florida State or Miami?

Times columnist Martin Fennelly and writer Matt Baker discuss which former powerhouse has had a worse 2018.
Published: 11/14/18