Wow. Some people had a little more faith than the TNIAAM staff that the Syracuse Orange football team would beat the Duke Blue Devils, but I don’t think anyone predicted the 49-6 blowout down in Durham. Here are the biggest takeaways:
Good start for Steve Stanard’s defense
SU’s interim defensive coordinator made an initial case for a permanent promotion in his first game at the helm of the unit. Not only did the Orange defense hold the Blue Devils to just six points, they held the running game to just 2.7 yards per carry after the embarrassing performance from the run D against Boston College. Add in three straight drives with a turnover (including an Andre Cisco pick six) and this was probably the most reflective performance of Syracuse’s defensive capability to date.... though obviously add in some caveats for Duke’s starting center being out.
WHERE HAS THIS OFFENSE BEEN?!?!
Duke isn’t even close to the worst defense Syracuse has played this season. Did something just click during the second bye week? Did swapping Airon Servais and Carlos Vettorello make that much of a difference? Whatever the case may be, this was the offense that the SU faithful expected to show up regularly this season.
DeVito’s stat line wasn’t the best at just 6-for-15 for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That said, he only got sacked once and never appeared rushed. The running game also REALLY caught life. A team effort netted the Orange 286 yards on the ground, including 100+ from both Moe Neal and Jarveon Howard (the latter mostly in garbage time). Syracuse might not be out of bowl contention yet if the team keeps this up.
Is this the real Syracuse or just a flash in the pan?
That then begs the question if SU can keep playing at this level. Duke is not a bad team, but Louisville and Wake Forest are both better, not to mention the matchup with the Cardinals is also on the road. Today showed promising signs, but if this team has taught us anything, it’s that there are clearly no guarantees of consistency.
Though the Orange put up big numbers on the scoreboard, the defense led the way here and the offense struggled for most of the middle two quarters. Better consistency is required from the offense beyond the initial scripted plays if SU is going to find a way to win two more games on this season. We’ll see what the next game brings.
What were your takeaways in this one?