Norvell also felt the game would come down to the end game.
“All week we knew it was going to be a game,” said head coach Mike Norvell. “We didn’t know which game was going to make the difference. We just had to keep fighting, keep improving, and keep believing. You saw it throughout the game, whether we were up, whether we had a good game or a bad game. “
Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader was limited to just 13 of 23 passes for 150 yards by the Seminole defense. Sean Tucker, who entered the game averaging 134 yards and nearly two rushing touchdowns per game, was limited to 102 rushing yards and no touchdowns.
Florida State’s defense was led by Jammie Robinson who totaled nine tackles. The Seminoles defense stood on a goal line with 3:34 left in the third quarter with a one-yard stopper to keep the Orange from scoring. The defensive save allowed the Seminoles to maintain a 23-13 lead.
The Seminoles defense stopped Shrader for no gain from the 1-yard line on what could be considered the biggest defensive play for the Seminoles this season. The Orange had the opportunity to come back to 23-20 but instead returned the ball to the Seminoles.
Although the Orange dominated the Seminoles by a 17-10 margin for the remainder of the game, it was the Seminoles who possessed the ball last and scored the game’s final – and winning – points.