No. 2 Florida State continued its march to the ACC title and possible berth in the BCS national championship game, defeating Syracuse, 59-3, in Tallahassee on Saturday.
With the win, the Seminoles improved to 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the ACC. It’s the first 10-0 start for FSU since 1999. The Orange dropped to 5-5 and 3-3.
The Seminoles were so flawless and dominant, they needed their quarterback, Heisman front runner Jameis Winston, for just the first half. The redshirt freshman completed 19 of 21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, as FSU jumped out to a 38-0 lead at the break. Winston then took a seat and watched as backup Sean Maguire directed the show in the second half.
He didn’t have to do too much. FSU out-gained Syracuse 523-247 (much of Syracuse’s yardage came with the game well in hand) and averaged over 11 yards per play. The Orange managed just 2.8 yards per rush, while starting quarterback Terrell Hunt was held to 75 yards on 10 of 18 passing.
The lone bright spot for Syracuse was a 32-yard field goal by Ryan Norton midway through the fourth quarter that allowed the Orange to avoid getting shutout for the second time in four games.
With games remaining against Idaho, Florida and possibly Duke in the ACC title game, it doesn’t look like too much is standing in the way of FSU’s first appearance in the BCS title game since 2000.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah