We know the Syracuse Orange’s 2017 football schedule is difficult, but at least SU got the job done on their end this Saturday, beating Central Michigan, 41-17. But what about our opponents? How’d they fare during what was a wild week three around college football? And how does that affect what’s ahead for the Orange?
Each week, we’ll check in with the teams on Syracuse’s schedule (past and future), and potentially re-evaluate the road ahead and behind us.
Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (0-3)
Result: 59-9 loss to Youngstown State
Last week’s solid effort vs. Fordham gave way to an absolute blowout against one of the FCS’s best teams, YSU (the same Penguins that took Pitt to overtime in week one). Central Connecticut didn’t score until garbage time was well underway, plus they only had 110 passing yards on the game (not ideal for a team that largely moves the ball through the air).
Result: 34-3 loss to Minnesota
Guess Scott Shafer won’t be firing up that victory cigar for beating Mark Coyle’s program after all... Without Brent Stockstill, MTSU was listless on offense. Back-ups Jason Urzua and Kyle Banks combined for just 184 yards passing, and the run game put in just 46 yards on 15 carries. Minnesota’s run game simply went right through them, to the tune of 221 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries. Obviously the Stockstill absence was a factor, but this loss frustrates even more now.
LSU Tigers (2-1)
Result: 37-7 loss to Mississippi State
That’ll certainly take some of the luster off of the next game — LSU will still be ranked, but getting dominated by MSU like that was not something many foresaw. After dominating the first two games of the season, the Tigers were bullied by Mississippi State’s run game all night (285 yards, 5.9 yards per carry), and were held in check on their end as well. Derrius Guice had just 76 yards rushing, and the passing game was wildly inefficient. LSU will be pretty mad next week, one would assume.
NC State Wolfpack (2-1)
Result: Win, 49-16 over Furman
State rolled through its FCS opponent, just like you’re supposed to. Ryan Finley had another efficient day (22-for-27, 231 yards), and the team’s run game just over-powered the Paladins all afternoon. Despite all of the talk about the Pack’s front seven, Furman was able to move the ball and score a bit early. It’s worth noting NCSU did register eight tackles for loss, however.
Pittsburgh Panthers (1-2)
Result: Loss, 59-21 to Oklahoma State
This game was over pretty swiftly in the first quarter, as Mason Rudolph literally did whatever he wanted while establishing a 21-0 lead for the Cowboys. OK State had nearly 700 yards of total offense, including 572 passing. Pitt had just 17 first downs and has yet to do anything at all this season to indicate they’re even a decent team.
Clemson Tigers (3-0, 1-0)
Result: Win, 47-21 over Louisville
Ends up Clemson’s still really good, guys. Following a tight first quarter that saw the teams tied 7-7, the Tigers outscored Louisville 26-0 in the second and third quarters. Kelly Bryant threw for 316 yards, while the run game added another 297. Oh, and the defense had four sacks and seven tackles for loss vs. the Cards. Clemson is still very much a national title contender again.
Miami Hurricanes (1-0)
Result: N/A (game rescheduled)
Florida State Seminoles (0-1)
Result: N/A (game rescheduled)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0, 1-0)
Result: Win, 46-10 over Utah State
So, Wake’s actually sort of good this year, which certainly casts some doubts on SU’s abilities to win this game in November. John Wolford had nearly 300 total yards with three touchdowns. And the long-dormant Deacons rushing attack had 291 yards of their own. The Wake Forest defense also tallied 11 tackles for loss. This team seems to be much improved from a year ago, despite some offseason losses.
Louisville Cardinals (2-1, 1-1)
Result: Loss, 47-21 to Clemson
Saturday’s defeat had nothing to do with Lamar Jackson, who had 381 total yards and three touchdowns while dealing with constant pressure and drops by receivers. This Louisville defense just isn’t the same, which puts more onus on him to make big plays happen. Plus the offensive line can’t protect him against elite fronts like Clemson’s.
Boston College Eagles (1-2, 0-1)
Result: Loss, 49-20 to Notre Dame
Boston College was down just 14-10 at the half, but then the floodgates opened in the second and Notre Dame just ran past them. Anthony Brown appears to be improving by the week at QB, accounting for 215 passing yards and two touchdowns this time around. But on the other end, the Irish did whatever they wanted to on the ground, to the tune of 515 yards on 51 carries. Front seven was supposed to be a strong suit for the Eagles.
Week three opponent W-L: 3-6
2017 total W-L: 18-14