A quick glance at the stat sheet wold make you think the Syracuse Orange are up by quite a bit over the Boston College Eagles. With 286 yards to Boston College’s 109, the Eagles are struggling the move the ball, as predicted.
However, the Orange lead is just 14-10 at the break, with the weather making a major impact on both teams.
It started on the first drive for Syracuse. Driving in BC territory, Eric Dungey forced a deep ball thinking he’d drawn the Eagles offside on the snap. That ball was picked off and returned 60 yards and led to a Boston College field goal. The tackle, by Dungey, also led to a sideline fracas. You may recall these two teams also fought the last time they were down at Chestnut Hill as well.
Dungey also fumbled a snap later on, and BC quarterback Patrick Towles did as well. Neither of those turnovers led to points, however. Syracuse kicker Cole Murphy missed another field goal today — this one, a 40-yarder. The Orange special teams unit also allowed a kick return touchdown by Myles Willis. SU’s also committed seven penalties for 60 yard (BC has six for 44).
Despite what seems like a very negative picture painted above, Syracuse has actually moved the ball really well, considering the role the weather, turnovers and those penalties can play. Dungey is a highly accurate 18-for-21 for 203 yards and a touchdown, and he’s also carried 12 times for 57 yards (including a big, 31-yard gainer). Last week, he became the first SU player to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 in the same game. He’s on pace to do so again this afternoon.
The rest of the run game beyond Dungey has struggled yet again, though. Dontae Strickland, Ervin Philips and Moe Neal combined for 26 yards on nine carries (though one of those was a three yard TD “run” by Philips).
Syracuse has managed to spread the ball around pretty well in the passing game so far. Steve Ishmael has four catches for 71 yards, Amba Etta-Tawo has six for 52, Brisly Estime has three for 48, and Philips has four for 30 (and a score).
On the defensive side, SU has continued their strong play of plate. Zaire Franklin has been all over the field making big stops, while Daivon Ellison has excelled in the secondary. Boston College has run for 98 yards, and Towles failed to complete his first pass until the waning minutes of the first half (he’s 2-for-8 so far). The Eagles were unable to get into field goal range beyond the interception return on SU’s first drive.
BC gets the ball at the half, and the rain appears to be picking up. This is going to be a close one, and I am very nervous. Still: G’Orange!