That wasn’t the prettiest game that the Syracuse Orange have played, and the N.C. State Wolfpack took care of business, 16-10 on the evening. By the will of the defense, the Orange stayed in the game until the end, but ultimately came up short.
On the day, the Orange were far from the better team through most of the game. While they found some rhythm late, it was too little too late. The defense performed as admirably as you can expect them, but was bit on a double pass throwback for a touchdown late in the first half. There will be a good number of things that Coach Dino Babers and company will need to work on in the long week until the Friday matchup with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The Syracuse offense still has a good number of issues
From the start, the Syracuse offense looked anemic. There’s no other way to shake it. In the first half, between a lack of push on the offensive front and poor decision making by Tommy DeVito, the Orange keeps shooting itself in the foot. In general, the first half may as well not have happened. Only 117 yards of total offense isn’t a good look for the squad in general, but allowing Louis Acceus to run free for most of the game, leading to three of the seven sacks.
In the second half, they looked much better, clocking in at 341 yards of offense, most of which came in the fourth quarter. Overall between some protection issues on the offensive line and some questionable play calls/execution and penalties all around, there wasn’t a whole lot that can be taken from the game. Especially with Taj Harris taking a seat on some important drives, there are probably more questions than answers as the Orange head back to Syracuse.
The defensive line is still solid... but they still can get worn down
Without McKinley Williams, we’ll never know what could be on this defensive front, but they’re making the most of what they have in front of them. Kenneth Ruff and Josh Black made their mark and played a decent game, but there is still the depth question, even with Curtis Harper and new “recruit” Chris Elmore, they’re thin at the position and can only hold so long.
Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson are going to get theirs on the ends, but between the tackles, there’s some real need to get some guys healthy to improve the depth interior, especially with the linebackers not having the greatest game on the season.
Depth is still a distinct issue on this roster
As early as the preseason, Coach Babers noted that the depth on this team would be an issue, and it has shown wholeheartedly in this game. Without starters Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu, the Orange secondary was shredded up and down the field by a Wolfpack offense that is mediocre in the passing game. As mentioned above, the interior line is far from full strength as well. The defense performed admirably in spite of these deficiencies.
Between this and other injuries that have accumulated over the season on both offense and defense, there have been a breadth of things contributing to the reach down the depth chart.
Your takeaways? Certainly you have some to add to the above.