After last week’s difficult loss to Wake Forest, we didn’t bother looking at the minimal gains made by the Syracuse Orange in the offensive stats department. But this week, after a thrilling 31-17 upset over the 17th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies? You bet we’re talking about all of the Orange statistical accolades.
Eric Dungey’s 53 attempts set the new mark for second-most by a Syracuse quarterback in one game. Ryan Nassib’s 66-attempt effort against Northwestern in 2012 remains up top. But the next five spots on the list are all Dungey’s from this year. While he wasn’t overly accurate (52.8 percent on the day), his 28 completions are also top-10 material in the SU record books. Dungey owns four of the top 10 spots on that list.
Adding another 311 passing yards to his total pushes Dungey up to 2,197 on the year, which is the eight-best single-season total in school history. He’s less than 100 yards from surpassing Marvin Graves’s total from 1992 and another 300-yard game would vault him past Donavan McNabb’s 1997 effort for fourth. Dungey’s 192 completions on the year put him one behind Greg Paulus for fourth-most in a single season. His 308 attempts are also just short of fourth-most (a spot currently inhabited by R.J. Anderson, who had 310 in 2003).
Career-wise, he’s now eighth all-time with 484 attempts, and his 297 completions also put him eighth. Since eight’s a theme, his 3,495 passing yards put him eighth on that list too. His 23 touchdown passes are tied with Dave Sarette for seventh-most in school history.
Comparing Dungey to the nation’s other top passers, he has the fourth-highest yardage total in the country (about 60 yards behind California’s Davis Webb). His 192 completions are third (and two behind Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes). He’s thrown the most passes in the country as well.
The only notable thing here is that Dungey put together his first 100-yard rushing game (on a bum knee, no less!) in an effort SU really needed. Beyond a short second-half stretch vs. Virginia Tech, they weren’t moving the ball well via handoff. Dungey’s smart running helped make up for that.
His 100-yard effort, combined with his 311 yards passing, make him the first player in school history to throw for 300 and run for 100 in one game.
As defenses key in on him more, we figured Amba Etta-Tawo’s record pace could slow a bit and it has. That said, he still has 56 catches for 930 yards on the year. The yardage mark still puts him second nationally, and he has the seventh-most catches. He’s now just seven yards behind Shelby Hill’s 1993 effort for the fifth-best single season receiving yardage total. With one more touchdown grab (he has six), he’ll earn a spot among the top 10 in school history too. He’s currently tied for fifth-most receptions right now, a spot also inhabited by Hill (1993) and Marvin Harrison (1995).
If he keeps his current yardage pace, he’ll own the top single-season mark and be just outside the top 10 career totals for a Syracuse receiver. His pace for 96 catches would also earn him the single-season record but put him just short of a top-10 career mark.
Though Ervin Philips doesn’t have the same large chunks of yardage on the year (though he did on Saturday), he’s just three behind Etta-Tawo in the catch department after grabbing 11 vs. Virginia Tech.
Syracuse’s per-game totals are going to take a hit all year due to that nine-point effort vs. Wake Forest. They’re averaging 26.4 points on the year with that game included, but 29.3 without it. Those totals aren’t setting the world on fire. But they don’t necessarily have to if the defense is going to play like it did in the win over the Hokies.
The Orange were stopped in the red zone once more, but also managed a touchdown there as well. Red zone efficiency’s among the country’s worst right now (105th), but at least the team is scoring plenty from outside the 20 as well.
After going 10-for-21 on third down vs. Virginia Tech, SU is at 42.42 percent on the year, 56th in the country. That’s solid improvement considering where this group was last year (worse). And even more impressive considering they have nine more third down attempts than the nearest team (Houston).
Dino Babers found his aggressive play-calling once again yesterday, going for it on fourth down five different times. The Orange converted four of those, and are now at 64.71 percent on the year (31st in the country). SU’s 17 fourth down attempts are tied for seventh in the country, while their 11 conversions are fourth-best. Babers’s former employer, Bowling Green, leads the nation in both categories (no shock there).
A quick note on pace: After dropping to a low 66 plays vs. Wake, SU got right back to their typical up-tempo offense against Tech. The Orange ran 88 plays, putting them at 599 on the year -- just four behind Houston for the most in the country. Syracuse ran 751 plays in all of 2016.
Syracuse’s total offense is 26th in the country at 480.3 yards per game. While that doesn’t sound amazing, it does put them ahead of noted offensive-minded teams such as Oklahoma State, Clemson, Tulsa, Western Kentucky and Boise State, among others.
Any other stats stick out to you this week? Share whatever else comes up in the comments.