The Syracuse Orange lost to the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes, falling short of earning two consecutive top-10 victories. Even still, considering the injuries and circumstance, this was definitely not a negative performance.
The run defense overall was good and bad
Excluding the fourth quarter, where it appeared the lack of depth began to hurt the Orange, Syracuse was able to prevent Miami from breaking loose on the ground. Allowing 140 yards is definitely not an overwhelming positive, but most of the yards came in the fourth quarter. For much of the game, the run defense kept Miami in second and third and longs.
The last drive of the game was concerning, but without Kendall Coleman, Josh Black, and Antwan Cordy, the lack of depth tired out the starters. They had run too many plays over the last few weeks and it showed late in the game, as they simply could not stop the Miami offense. Overall, not a negative performance, but hopefully they can perform better once Coleman and Cordy return.
Eric Dungey has more heart than you
I am not sure how he finished the game, but junior quarterback Eric Dungey struggled the entire night. After throwing four first half interceptions, he appeared to injure himself three or four times throughout the second half. Still, he kept on going. He stayed in the game, sacrificing his body for the sake of the team and hoping that his team could pull of a miracle.
He finished with 13 completions on 41 attempts for 137 yards, along with 100 rushing yards on 20 carries. Entering the bye week, hopefully he can rest up, heal his wounds, and be healthy for the next game.
The run game was excellent
Perhaps since the passing game was so absent, Dontae Strickland, Moe Neal, and Dungey lead the offense on the ground. Together, they accounted for over 250 rushing yards and SU’s only score.
On multiple occasions, Strickland and Dungey were able to use their legs to convert third down and long situations, allowing the offense to keep moving and put points up on the board. Also, the two knocked off multiple twenty plus gains and pushed the offense into opposing territory.
Compared to the beginning of the season, this is a major shift. After not being able to move the ball at all on the ground against MTSU and Central Connecticut State, the fact that Strickland has totaled over 180 yards against Miami and Clemson is astounding. Only time will tell if he can continue his upward trend.