Sep 18, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) runs with the ball in front of Albany Great Danes defensive back Tyler Carswell (2) on his way to the end zone for a touchdown during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Sean Tucker, Syracuse aim to rush past winless Florida State

Only 18 yards separate Syracuse running back Sean Tucker from being the most prolific rusher in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Next up for Tucker and the rest of the Orange is a visit to Tallahassee, Fla. Tucker and Syracuse hope of another big day on Saturday against winless Florida State, which is off to its worst start since 1974.

The Orange (3-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are seeking their third straight win after posting victories over Albany and Liberty.

Tucker enters this week with 536 rushing yards, which is second in the FBS behind Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III. Tucker is averaging 6.5 yards per carry, numbers that are prolific enough for former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III to include Tucker in the Top 5 of his Heisman Watch.

In Friday’s 24-21 win over Liberty, Tucker rushed for 169 yards on 32 attempts against an opponent who entered 10th nationally in rushing yards per game allowed. Syracuse survived blowing a 14-point lead when Andre Szmyt kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired.

“There’s one thing when you’re on this football team and Sean Tucker is running the ball the way he is, our No. 1 job is to find ways to make sure he gets the ball,” Orange coach Dino Babers said. “I think it’s pretty evident that we’ve got coaches and players and everybody working to try to find ways to make sure he doesn’t just disappear in a football game.”

Florida State (0-4, 0-2) have committed 11 turnovers and dropped three games by eight points or less.

On Saturday, Florida State gave up the game’s first 17 points, trailed by 24 late in the first half and took a 31-23 home loss to Louisville. Quarterback McKenzie Milton completed 24 of 39 passes for 248 yards while Jashaun Corbin had a 75-yard touchdown run and Treshaun Ward contributed a 20-yard scoring run.

“Came out and played really hard in the second half,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “Defensively did a great job being able to get off the field. Just missed opportunities. We had our chances. Didn’t finish drives. We got to finish.”

The Seminoles have allowed at least 30 points in three of their first four games and enter as the ACC’s second-worst scoring defense at 31.8 points per game. Florida State is allowing 132.3 rushing yards per game, which is eighth in the ACC, but its 3.1 yards allowed per carry are tied for third best in the ACC behind Clemson and Syracuse.

–Field Level Media

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