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Second half thread: Miami 13, Syracuse 3

It could be worse?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Despite being down at the half and despite four Eric Dungey interceptions, the Syracuse Orange are in a good spot going into the half. Down just 10 points to a top-10 Miami Hurricanes squad on the road, the Orange are right where they want to be.

After two quarters, Syracuse has just 65 passing yards and 62 rushing yards.

Miami has played man coverage all game with a deep safety 18 yards back. Up front, the ‘Canes are bringing a mix of run and pass blitzes. Run blitzes holding gaps. Pass blitzes going after the quarterback.

Both pressures have overwhelmed Syracuse’s offensive line. The issue has forced Dungey to thrown the ball either before he wants to or into the dirt. The former resulting in several interceptions.

Here’s how Syracuse can still win:

1. Take Advantage of the man coverage.

The type of offense Syracuse runs spreads the field, meaning there is more space to cover for each defensive back playing man coverage. This is especially true vertically up the field. If Syracuse can find a way to push Miami’s defensive backs with speed up and across the field, there will be a lot of opportunities down the field for receivers.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2. Simplify O-Line Gameplan

Whatever they came into the game with has to go. In football, simplicity is key. The less you’re thinking, the easier it is to react. For Syracuse’s offensive line, it’s evident Miami’s pressure packages have been overwhelming. By simplifying the gameplan, picking up pressure and reestablishing chemistry along the line Syracuse can give themselves more opportunity to look down field and run the ball whether that be with Dungey or any of the running backs.


The defense is playing a phenomenal game limiting Miami to just 46 yards rushing and playing well on third down — Miami converting on just one of six attempts. If they can keep up their effort and the offense finds a spark in the second half, Syracuse certainly still has a chance against the No. 8 team in the country.