The most important stats coming out of Friday’s game? We’re 4-3 after the Syracuse Orange pulled a stunning upset over the No. 2 Clemson Tigers, and still have a very real shot at the postseason now. That said, some other statistical achievements did occur, and are worth highlighting here.
Each week, we’ll be drawing attention to the most notable (largely offensive) Orange statistical accomplishments in this space.
While Eric Dungey may not have hit the 300-yard mark, his performance throwing the ball was still commendable against what was the country’s top defensive unit. He was 20-of-32 for 278 yards and three touchdowns — and might have had more if not for some unfortunate penalties. Those yards still push him over the 2,000-yard mark for the season, and now over the 6,000-yard mark for his career. He’s fourth all-time after passing Don McPherson.
Adding three more touchdowns gives him 12 passing scores on the year and 20 total on the season — putting him in the top-10 single season figures and just one away from tying his career-high last year. The record’s 30 by Donovan McNabb in 1998. If Dungey stays healthy, he’ll beat that and then some.
Though Dungey dipped slightly in his yards per game average, he’s still among the top 15 in the country by that mark. He still has both the third most completions (188) and attempts (293) in the country. He’s on track to best the school record for completions in a season, which is 294 by Ryan Nassib in 2012.
The numbers weren’t gaudy for SU’s receivers in this one, but they didn’t need to be. Steve Ishmael caught six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown, but fell to third in the country in receiving yards at 802. That’s just shy of the top-10 single-season yardage totals in school history. And Ishmael’s now third on the career receiving yards list, with 2,346. He’s less than 400 yards away from breaking Marvin Harrison’s record now.
Ervin Philips caught four passes for 94 yards -- including a huge 66-yard touchdown grab, which also vaulted him into the career top-10 for receiving yards. At 1,734, he’s now in ninth.
Both players had key receptions in the game, even if they didn’t amass a lot of total catches. Ishmael remains the national leader with 62 grabs, while Erv is third with 56. Philips is now just 11 catches away from Alec Lemon’s all-time record, while Ishmael is 25 off the pace.
Dungey had another 339 total yards, and is now sitting fourth on the all-time list at 7,346. His 2,466 total yards are the ninth-highest single-season total in Syracuse history and he’s just 500 or so yards away from second place (a place he holds from last year), so he’ll be climbing the list quickly in the coming weeks.
SU’s 28th in the country in total offense with 463 per game, though points per game continue to go down (we’re at 31.2 now). That’s fine as long as we’re winning. The Orange didn’t hit the 90-play mark, but continued to increase its lead in terms of total plays run. Their 599 so far are 25 ahead of Duke in second place.
Syracuse had 28 first downs against Clemson, pushing their per-game average to 25 which is 12th-best in the country. They’re pretty close to the top 10 at this point. That’s pretty encouraging.
After an 8-for-19 effort on third down, the Orange got slightly better on third down but are still around 50th in the country in terms of conversion rate. Syracuse tacked on two more fourth down conversions on Friday, giving them 15 on the year (first in the country). They’ve also made two more attempts (23) than any other team. As mentioned last week, Syracuse’s successful conversions have turned into points quite a bit — and rarely lead to points by the opposition.
The Orange were 3-for-3 in the red zone against the Tigers, but two of those conversions were field goals. SU’s scoring at an 87.88 percent clip in the red zone (40th), but the touchdown rate is 48.48, which is among the worst rates in the country. That needs to get better.
Spot any other statistical achievements from this week? Share below.