That was pretty rough. Over the course of the game, Syracuse had it’s ups and downs. Most of the ups were defensive, most of the downs were offensive. Overall the Syracuse Orange couldn’t put it together and lost 35-17 to the Florida State Seminoles.
Offense needs some serious help, including playcalling
When the Orange offense started moving in the second half, it was due to some creative playcalling and mixing up the offense. Quick releases and protection schemes that benefit what the offense can do, as well as mixing in some run to good effect.
When the Orange offense looked bad, it was in part due to a very vanilla playbook and a lack of execution. Without the ability to beat the defense man for man, that playcalling likely won’t be effective. In the red zone it become exacerbated even more. Cam Akers can take a basic power and make something happen, but the Syracuse running backs are not Cam Akers. That said, Abdul Adams and Moe Neal made the most of the second half, rushing for 74 and 56 yards respectively.
It’s not as frustrating as the old George Deleone run-run-pass-punt, but it’s close. Dare I say it wouldn’t be horrible to see some more inclusion of some tight end use, quick screens or digs, or in general any plays that get the ball in the hands of the Syracuse athletes as quick as possible. Also, getting Tommy DeVito and Taj Harris on the same page is an absolute must moving forward.
The offensive line has issues, but there may be some bright spots.
From the start of the game, the Syracuse offensive line was already changed from last week, with Ryan Alexander being replaced by true freshman Matthew Bergeron. Even off the bat, the line looked better than they had in recent weeks. It may have not seemed it, with the Orange surrendering a few sacks or tackles for loss early, but they were coverage sacks or FSU bringing more than Syracuse had to block.
Overall, Bergeron looked good in his debut. He was more confident pass blocking and the unit looked better against the talented Florida State line. While not as good as N.C. State or Pittsburgh’s defensive fronts, they were still more than capable. Also of note, Dakota Davis was injured early in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Patrick Davis, who was able to make the most of his snaps as well.
The defensive can only look so good and a lot of the issues can be placed on the linebackers
Over the course of the game, it became even more apparent than it has in recent weeks that the linebackers are able to be exploited. Florida State took advantage of that fact, running a good bit at the second level, with Cam Akers having a field day. A good number of screens to the interior of the field, or delays and quick hits off of the RPO really took advantage of the mismatch with the Orange linebackers.
We’ll see how these things are addressed in the coming week, as the Orange move on to face Boston College next Saturday.
Your takeaways? Certainly you have some to add to the above.