One side effect of the Syracuse Orange’s coaching change this offseason is obviously increased offensive production. We’ve already seen some of those results in Amba Etta-Tawo winning the ACC wide receiver of the week award. But beyond just Etta-Tawo’s production, where else can we find Syracuse players (and the team) near the top of leaderboards after one week of football?
Syracuse is currently sixth in passing yardage with 437, and only four yards out of third place (Cal). The last time the team saw that type of effort through the air was 2012 -- in particular, SU’s close (b.s.) loss to Northwestern.
The team’s 40 completions (34 from Eric Dungey) were fourth-best in the country, and accuracy (87.9 percent) was third; second if you want to discount Navy’s four-for-four effort.
Glancing at individual players, Dungey’s 355 yards put him 12th in the nation, and his completion percentage (85) puts him second behind East Carolina’s Philip Nelson. As a reminder, Dungey only completed 59.7 percent of passes in 2015. His rating of 176 right now is among the top 25 figures in the country.
As mentioned, Etta-Tawo is the ACC’s top receiver from week one, and he’s currently the nation’s leading pass catcher in terms of yardage (210). Fellow Orange wideout Ervin Philips is tied (with Cal’s Chad Hansen) for the national lead in receptions at 14. Etta-Tawo is also high up on that list, with his 12 catches putting him for third.
Syracuse’s total offense is ranked 21st in the country, just in terms of raw yardage. Its 81 plays from scrimmage were only 28th, and Dino Babers has even said that will never happen again (as in, they were playing too slow). The Orange collected 6.84 yards per play — the 34th-best figure in the country. That might never trend all that much higher up, however. Based on what we saw in game one, shorter (quick) gains are going to be featured plenty.
Especially amidst week one’s typical list of blowouts, Syracuse’s 33 points weren’t much to brag about. They settled for field goals a bunch and left points on the board, however. So corrections there could see the number go up, even against better competition than Colgate. The team’s four field goals (all by Cole Murphy) were tied for second-best in the country (only behind Florida State).
Syracuse was one of 57 teams to score on 100 percent (four-for-four) of its trips into the red zone. But as mentioned, they settled for field goals a bunch. Like previous years, the Orange are struggling to get across the goal line from inside the 20. They scored a touchdown on just one of those four red zone trips vs. Colgate. That’s 114th in the country...
The Orange’s 25 first downs weren’t astounding, but still ranked them 34th in the country.
In terms of efficiency, SU converted just 44.44 percent of its third down conversions (eight-for-18), which puts them around the middle of the pack in the nation. They’re tied for first on fourth down, however, going three-for-three there. Only Western Michigan (four-for-four) has more fourth down conversions so far.
Didn’t bother talking about rushing numbers, since Syracuse did not perform well there at all and we’re largely trying to feature positive numbers above. See any other notable leaderboard appearances for the Orange? Chime in below.