No. 17 Florida State showed no sign of a letdown despite missing its top two playmakers, putting up one of its best offensive games of the season in a 45-21 win over Syracuse on Saturday.
The points tied a season high and the yardage was the second-highest this year for Florida State, which improves to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the ACC heading into next Saturday’s Atlantic Division showdown at No. 3 Clemson.
After winning its first three games, Syracuse has dropped five straight and is 1-3 in the ACC.
Golson was held out due to a concussion, and Maguire was announced as the starter before kickoff. The junior completed 23 of 35 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. He had 302 yards in the first half, which is the first time a Florida State quarterback had done that since Chris Weinke had 302 yards in the first half against Clemson in 2000.
Patrick got his first career start after Cook suffered an ankle injury in last Saturday’s loss at Georgia Tech. Patrick, who had three carries coming into the game, had 24 carries for 162 yards and three touchdowns. His longest run of the day was a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that extended the Seminoles’ lead to 45-21.
Travis Rudolph caught all three of Maguire’s touchdown passes and had five catches for 191 yards. It is the first time in Florida State history that it has had players with three touchdowns receiving and three touchdowns rushing in the same game.
After Syracuse took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on an Eric Dungey 1-yard touchdown run, Florida State took control of the game by scoring on three consecutive drives. Rudolph tied the game with a 75-yard touchdown where he broke four tackles en route to the end zone after catching the ball at the Syracuse 31. Rudolph then gave the Seminoles the lead with a 45-yard catch in the end zone.
The Orange got within 21-14 on a Dungey 1-yard touchdown, but Syracuse decided to squib kick late in the first half despite Florida State having all three timeouts. The Seminoles took advantage as they got the ball on their own 42 and scored with nine seconds remaining in the half on a Patrick 1-yard run up the middle.
Dungey, who came into the game leading the ACC in passing efficiency, completed just 11 of 24 passes for 120 yards along with rushing for 46 yards on 10 carries.