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Syracuse’s first down offense vs Holy Cross

These numbers aren’t looking as good as we hoped

Holy Cross v Syracuse
Luke Benson on his way to the end zone
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

We’ve talked a lot about the Syracuse Orange’s tempo on offense and the importance of running the ball successfully. We expected the game against the Holy Cross Raiders would allow the Orange the opportunity to correct these issues. What we got was a lot more of the same inefficiency on first downs.

1st down offense vs Holy Cross

Half Run or Pass Yards
Half Run or Pass Yards
1st Half Pass (Incomplete) 0
1st Half Pass (Incomplete) 0
1st Half Pass (Jackson) 14
1st Half Run (Neal) 4
1st Half Run (Neal) 5
1st Half Pass (Jackson) 17
1st Half Run (Neal) 5
1st Half Run (DeVito) 12
1st Half Pass (Incomplete) 0
1st Half Pass (Harris) 23
1st Half Run (Adams) 11
1st Half Pass (Incomplete) 0
1st Half Run (DeVito) 5
1st Half Pass (Neal) 7
1st Half Pass (Neal) -6
1st Half Run 6 42
1st Half Pass 9 55
1st Half Total 15 97
2nd Half Run (Neal) 2
2nd Half Pass (Harris) 3
2nd Half Run (Adams) 4
2nd Half Pass (Incomplete) 0
2nd Half Run (Neal) 2
2nd Half Run (Neal) 3
2nd Half Pass (Jackson) 6
2nd Half Pass (S. Johnson) 0
2nd Half Pass (Benson) 70
2nd Half Run (DeVito) 4
2nd Half Pass (Jackson) 2
2nd Half Pass (Harris) 3
2nd Half Run (Howard) -2
2nd Half Run (Pierre) 4
2nd Half Run 7 17
2nd Half Pass 7 84
2nd Half Total 14 101
Total Run 13 59
Total Pass 16 139
Total 29 plays 198 yds

If you take away the 70 yard Tommy DeVito to Luke Benson touchdown pass and Syracuse ran 13 first down plays in the second half and gained 31 yards. When fans ask where the fast tempo has gone, that’s a good reason for it. Other than the long TD, the Orange had one other 1st down play that gained more than five yards and that’s against a not very good FCS defense.

I would imagine we’ll hear a lot about tempo as the Orange enjoy the bye week but once again this offense simply isn’t doing what it needs to do on 1st and 10. Dino Babers suggested that the offense was working on some new things so maybe there isn’t as much cause for concern but if we’re going to see Syracuse take a step forward the rest of the season it’s going to be on the offense to be more consistent.