Raise your hand if you had 3-9 at the final record of the 2014 Syracuse Orange football team.
As I look around the preseason predictions, no one from the Syracuse camp would predict that low. But you know who did? Some national folks. And damn, that really chaps my ass to see their predictions come to fruition.
As expected, the Orange defense did what they could but it wasn't nearly enough to hold off the Boston College Eagles, who defeated SU 28-7 in the final game of the year.
While the Orange happened to stick around through the first half, you could argue the game was over with the very first play, a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Boston College. From there, it was a matter of Which-Offense-Can-Do-Less until SU finally put together a drive that ended with a redzone touchdown (!?!), a four-yard touchdown run by A.J. Long.
BC tacked on a second touchdown to take a 14-7 lead into halftime. Scott Shafer came out and said the game would probably come down to a field goal or touchdown it was all about keeping the Eagles in check. That didn't happen.
While the Orange offense went back to its sputtering ways, BC added a third quarter touchdown and then put the game away for good with a 42-yard TD scamper by Tyler Rouse in the fourth quarter. Somewhere along the way, Syracuse punted at BC's 30-yard-line and that was that.
Long finished 7-of-18 for 59 yards, no touchdowns and a rough 2nd half interception. Austin Wilson came in for some mop-up duty late but otherwise it was Long's show. He didn't do very much to prove he deserves to keep the gig headed in 2015, though I'm remiss to dump on the guy too much. He's still a freshman after all.
SU rushed for 62 total yards on the day, led by Prince-Tyson Gulley with 28 yards on six carries. The fun part of that stat is that it includes a 29-yard run.
Defensively, Zaire Franklin showed why he's expected to be a star of next season's defense, while Cameron Lynch and Dyshawn Davis each recorded 10 tackles in the loss.
A defense that did what it could for as long as it could. An offense that couldn't do much of anything. A special teams gaffe that hurt the Orange. The game was indeed a microcosm of the entire season, which, thankfully, is now over. Lots to learn from, lots to move on from and lots to hope gets better in 2015. There will be plenty of discussion and breakdown to come.
For now, 2014 ends. At least for us. Probably for the best.