No. 1 Florida State (6-0, 4-0 ACC) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 22 games Saturday at Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 ACC). Quarterback Jameis Winston put aside all of the off-field drama surrounding his name once again and was sharp once again. Winston completed 30-of-36 pass attempts for 317 yards and three touchdowns in Florida State’s 38-20 road victory in ACC play.
Winston was on point right from the start of the game. Just a little more than 12 hours earlier it was reported Winston will face a disciplinary hearing at Florida State for possible violations to the school’s code of conduct, but Winston was locked in once he put a uniform on and took the field. Winston completed all five of his pass attempts on the game’s opening drive, which ended with a touchdown run by Mario Pender, and Winston later added two red zone touchdown passes in the second half. Rashad Greene led all players with 107 yards, and tight end Nick O’Leary added 97 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse did not go away, but the Orange dug too big a hole to crawl out of as the game unfolded. Syracuse managed to keep attacking Florida State’s defense, piling up 412 yards on the afternoon. It is the first time Florida State has allowed over 400 yards of offense this season. It came with some good balance as well. Syracuse quarterback AJ Long had the better day under center for Syracuse, completing 16-of-27 pass attempts for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was also intercepted twice. Prince-Tyson Gulley gave it his best effort but was only able to pick up 80 yards on 16 carries.
The big question following a game like this used to be whether or not Florida State did enough this week to retain its spot atop the polls. With Auburn and Mississippi State meeting in a clash of top three teams, it is possible Florida State could be passed in the poll this week. It may even be expected the way polls seem to react. However, this should not be a concern for Florida State fans. All Florida State has to continue doing is winning games. There is little standing in the way of Florida State and another trip to the ACC Championship Game, and if Florida State manages to run the table it should be expected they should be as much of a lock for a spot in the four-team playoff as any other school could claim to be.
Florida State will host Notre Dame next week. Syracuse will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they head on the road to Wake Forest next Saturday.