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Wake Forest 28 - Syracuse 9: Offense sputters in throwback effort

This looked more like 2015 Syracuse than 2016 Syracuse

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

What was that?

To be sure, we assumed the high-powered Syracuse offense would be tamped down thanks to inclimate weather. But even when the Orange emerged in the second half to dry skies, the offense refused to reemerge with it. Instead, we watched a 2016 Syracuse Orange football team rely on it’s defense to keep them it the game while the offense absolutely sputtered in a 28-9 loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

The Orange had every opportunity to win this game, thanks not only to their defense but also multiple Wake miscues. The Deacs botched their first punt of the night, leading to a safety that easily could have been an SU touchdown. Wake also coughed up a fumble and interception but the Orange were unable to convert either into points.

Instead, it was an evening in which SU relied on the running game with predictable results. Dontae Strickland led the way with 74 yards on 13 carries but Eric Dungey ended up doing the most scampering. 18 carries for 13 yards with a long of 27, if that’s any indication of how his night went.

Eric Dungey had what might of been his worst game as SU’s quarterback. Dungey looked lost at times and it might have been because his favorite target was mostly unavailable all night. The sophomore quarterback ended up with a pedestrian line of 13-for-22 for 153 yards and an interception. Amba Etta-Tawo’s streak of 100-yard games ends at five as he ends up with 36 yards on four catches. Steve Ishmael led the way with five receptions for 56 yards.

It’s hard to fault the Syracuse defense for once. They held the Deacons to 14 points for most of the game, surrendering the third touchdown with four minutes left in the game. The fourth touchdown, a fumble recovery, wasn’t their fault. They bent and bent but rarely broke. This one is not on them.

More to come on this but this was a much more frustrating loss than I expected. I thought that SU might lose because the weather limited the impact of the Orange offense. But for half of the game, there was no impediment except for the one they created for themselves.