Florida State and Syracuse are two teams in similar spots: Desperation mode.
The Seminoles (3-4, 2-3 ACC) face off against Syracuse (3-4, 0-3) on Saturday looking to build any kind of momentum for the stretch run as well as keep their potential of playing in a bowl game alive.
“This game means a lot because we need a win,” FSU coach Willie Taggart said. “And we’re at home, homecoming, all of our alumni will be back. Our football team needs to get back in the win column.”
FSU will not have linebacker Dontavious Jackson against the Orange. The senior, who is second on the team with 38 tackles, has an unspecified injury. Another linebacker, Leonard Warner III, will return to the field after missing last week’s game at Wake Forest.
Center Baveon Johnson and guard Brady Scott have practiced this week and are expected to play, Taggart said.
Tamorrion Terry is “fine,” Taggart stated, but the receiver has been dealing with a knee injury.
“It’s the same knee that he had surgery on,” Taggart said. “This time of year I think everybody has bumps and bruises and a little sore. But Terry’s fine.”
Taggart also did not name a starting quarterback, although he appeared to hint that he had made a decision or knew whether he would choose to start James Blackman or Alex Hornibrook. Blackman has started six of seven games for FSU, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Seminoles look to make a push in their final five games against the Orange, who are coming off losses at NC State (16-10) and to Pittsburgh (27-20). Syracuse is able to pressure the quarterback but has struggled on offense and given up the nation’s most sacks.
“They do some things well,” Taggart said. “And then there’s some mistakes here and there. You are what your record is but they’re a good football team. Last year, they won 10 ballgames. They’re in all these ballgames. … They’re in these games and going through whatever it is for whatever reason. I think we’re all trying to find a way to get back in the win column.”