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Florida State May Not Be No. 1, but 'Noles Are Definitely Nation's Deepest Team

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Florida State May Not Be No. 1, but 'Noles Are Definitely Nation's Deepest Team
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE, FL: Even Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer was impressed. 

"I love my kids, I love our players, but they (Florida State) are a good looking bunch," said Shafer following the game. "They are as good as they are supposed to look and better. They look like an NFL team out there, personnel wise. They have guys who don't touch the field that are giants. That's the sign of a good program and one helluva job by Jimbo Fisher and this staff."

Florida State took down Syracuse 59-3 on Saturday afternoon, putting all the hoopla and controversy surrounding behind them and just played football, much as they have all season. 

What stood out past the obvious storyline of, to borrow a Jimbo Fisher phrase, "eliminating clutter" was the talent the Seminoles consistently demonstrated. It wasn't a single-man effort, nor a single-position group that dominated Saturday; it was the entire team, putting together one of FSU's most complete games this season.

Three different running backs scored touchdowns for the Seminoles, with familiar faces Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. finding the end zone and newbie Kermit Whitfield reeling off a 74-yard run with the assist of a Jameis Winston block downfield. 

"Anything for our team to have success, I'm down for it," Winston said with a smile. "Obviously I have some competition because Jake [Coker] had a block for Kermit so I had to go and get me one."

In addition to the trio of backs, three different wide receivers hauled in touchdowns: Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin and Nick O'Leary, with the latter getting his by way of backup quarterback Sean Maguire

"It was just cool to be Sean's first touchdown and it was also the record-breaking touchdown for me, so for both of those things to happen it was pretty amazing," O'Leary said, who became FSU's all-time tight end touchdown reception leader. "He threw a perfect ball."

Continuing on that point is that both the first- and second-string quarterbacks threw for a touchdown today, the first time its happened this season. Maguire was installed into the game at the start of the half, and got playing time with the first string before staying in with other backups. 

It wouldn't have been an FSU game without a defensive touchdown, and that happened in the third quarter, when defensive end Chris Casher forced a fumble and then took it back for a touchdown. 

Roberto Aguayo also contributed a field goal. 

Five different phases of football, and all played at the top of their game against an opponent that required no special attention. 

"I'd like to see them go out there and represent the ACC and win the whole damn thing because they are a damn good football team and Jimbo does a great job with them," Shafer said. "Hats off to them; they earned everything they got."

With the talent the Seminoles have in their position, its hard to imagine any other outcome as the season goes on. 

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