Florida State Defeats Syracuse 38-20 For 22nd Straight Win

(Photo courtesy of Bill Pearce)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Seminoles.com) – Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes and Rashad Greene became Florida State’s all-time leader in career receptions as the top-ranked Seminoles picked up a 38-20 victory over Syracuse here at the Carrier Dome.

The win extends FSU’s school-record streak to 22 and ensures that the Seminoles will play in a bowl game for a 33rd consecutive year.

FSU (6-0, 4-0 ACC) will take aim at win No. 23 when fifth-ranked Notre Dame visits Tallahassee next week.

Greene, a senior from Albany, Ga., entered the contest needing just four catches to surpass former Seminole great Ron Sellers.

Sellers' career record of 212 receptions had stood since 1968. Greene posted No. 213 with a quick pass from Winston, which he then ran into a 9-yard gain on third-and-7.

Greene ended up with 101 yards on five catches.

Winston finished 30 of 36 (83 percent) for 317 yards, good for the 10th 300-yard passing day of his career.

He also threw his 51st career touchdown pass, moving past Charlie Ward (1989-93) for fifth-place on FSU's all-time list.

He needs only one more to overtake Gary Huff for fourth.

After a quiet couple of weeks, tight end Nick O’Leary got back in on the action with seven catches for 77 yards, including a leaping, 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

In the process, O’Leary, who had two catches in FSU's last two games, caught the 83rd pass of his career, which gave him the school record for career receptions by a tight end.

Gary Parris (1970-72) previously held the record.

With Karlos Williams sidelined by an ankle injury and replacement Mario Pender hobbled midway through the second quarter, freshman Dalvin Cook shouldered the load with a 22-carry, 120-yard performance that marked the first 100-yard game of his career.

Pender checked back into the game midway through the third, but only for one drive. He still managed to run for 46 yards and score two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving).

Florida State’s defense, meanwhile, took advantage of a Syracuse offense leaning on a pair of inexperienced quarterbacks in the wake of an injury to starter Terrel Hunt. The Seminoles grabbed three interceptions – one each for Jalen Ramsey, Nate Andrews and Tyler Hunter – and didn’t allow a touchdown until late in the third quarter.

The Seminoles had previously not allowed a touchdown since the third quarter of their Oct. 4 game at North Carolina State.