The Syracuse Orange moved to 2-0 last weekend after a resounding 62-10 win against an overmatched Wagner team. So while that’s a nice start, there’s still a lot more season to go as we hopefully work toward a six-win campaign.
Each week, we’ll be using this space to look at past and future foes on the 2018 schedule, and assess what’s ahead for the Orange. So how’d Syracuse’s opponents fare in week two? And how might that affect SU going forward?
Western Michigan Broncos (0-2, 0-0)
Result: 49-3 loss to Michigan
WMU’s offense bogged down against a stout Michigan defense on Saturday, as they barely topped the 200-yard mark for the game. The Wolverines were up 35-0 at halftime behind a powerful run game and that was really it for the matchup. Unfortunate — though not surprising — result for the Broncos with regard to how we felt about the week one game.
Florida State Seminoles (1-1, 0-1)
Result: 36-26 win over Samford
FSU found itself down 23-21 at halftime to FCS Samford. And while they did manage to turn that into a 10-point win, the effort certainly didn’t inspire much faith among the Seminoles faithful. The offense looked better (Deondre Francois had 320 passing yards), though the team still failed to move the ball that well on the ground with a porous offensive line. Florida State’s secondary also allowed 475 yards through the air on the night.
Connecticut Huskies (0-2, 0-1)
Result: 62-7 loss to Boise State
After dual-threat QB David Pindell’s strong performance in week one, he and UConn’s entire offense fell off a cliff in week two against Boise State. Meanwhile, the Broncos pretty much did whatever they wanted to the Huskies’ defense, racking up 818 yards of total offense (418 of that coming through the air). As a team, UConn ran the ball pretty well, picking up 122 yards on 25 carries though the focus was obviously on the passing game once they were down by a lot.
Clemson Tigers (2-0, 0-0)
Result: 28-26 win over Texas A&M
Clemson encountered a hostile environment down at College Station, and were nearly upset during a fiery second-half comeback by the Aggies. Though A&M struggled to run the ball (71 yards), they did pass for 430 yards. Clemson had 10 tackles for loss on the day and also recovered two fumbles. Those TFL numbers would seem likely to rise when the Tigers take on Syracuse later this month.
Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1, 0-0)
Result: 51-6 loss to Penn State
Penn State may not have been the most accurate passing team, but it didn’t much matter as they ran the ball well and scored at will in the second half against Pitt. The Panthers couldn’t move the ball well through the air (just 55 yards), while relying heavily on the run. Though they were down just 14-6 at halftime, everything just fell apart over the final two quarters which sparks concerns about Pitt’s defense.
North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2, 0-0)
Result: 41-19 loss to East Carolina
Oh, wow. ECU’s not necessarily a good team (they’re sort of bad, actually), and it appears the Heels aren’t either after getting blown out while visiting the Pirates. East Carolina managed 510 yards of offense against UNC and shut them out in the second half. The Tar Heels had 395 total yards on the day, with 234 of those coming through the air. They did play well on special teams, though.
N.C. State Wolfpack (2-0, 0-0)
Result: 41-7 win over Georgia State
The Pack have a habit of not putting much effort into lesser opponents, and that was the case once again this past weekend against Georgia State. Sure, the score looks like they won going away, but the real work was put in late (they led 20-7 at half). QB Ryan Finley remains super accurate and is passing for big numbers (370 yards, two touchdowns). But the run game is still a little questionable.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0, 0-0)
Result: 51-20 win over Towson
Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman continued to lead a strong offensive attack that’s currently among the top-20/30 in the country. The Deacs had 242 yards passing and another 340 on the ground (a concern Syracuse should probably keep an eye on). They did also allow 345 passing yards, though there’s a bit of an excuse built in given the 18-point advantage at half. But Wake’s defense did shut out Towson in the second half, so that’s a positive.
Louisville Cardinals (1-1, 0-0)
Result: 31-7 win over Indiana State
The Sycamores managed to generate a good deal of pressure on Louisville, and didn’t necessarily do much on offense, picking up just 363 yards on the game. Indiana State was also within seven or tied for most of the contest. A win’s a win and this one was still by 24 points. However, the offense was far from dominant and they relied on the defense performing well against a one-dimensional attack.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0, N/A)
Result: 24-16 win over Ball State
ND’s another team that did some sleep-walking on Saturday. Despite being a running team, the Irish threw for nearly 300 yards and had just 117 on the ground. Brandon Wimbush also threw three picks, which helped complicate matters for Notre Dame. Ball State had their own turnover problems, which derailed their chances. But they did hold their own in the second half, scoring 10 points in the fourth to make it a one-possession game.
Boston College Eagles (2-0, 0-0)
Result: 62-14 win over Holy Cross
BC didn’t have to do much to push the Crusaders right over. AJ Dillon had 149 yards rushing and three scores on just six carries. Anthony Brown only attempted two passes (completing both). But the reserves kept pouring it on while Holy Cross could only muster a couple garbage time touchdowns in in the second half. This was uncomfortably (for potential foes) effortless.
Week two opponent W-L: 7-5
2018 total W-L: 14-10