Syracuse does have an offense, when they show up.
The Syracuse offense decided to show up and look a bit like the offense of old in this one, at least in stretches. To start the game, the Orange were able to methodically march down the field (with some help from a run-pass-pass-pass option of some sort, that led to a 35 yard Sean Riley scramble, and set up the stalwart hands of Aaron Hackett for the score. The combination of establishing the run, along with some quick passes into space allowed a bit of a rhythm to get going even.
After some sputters, Tommy DeVito picked out Trishton Jackson from the outset and put a beautiful ball on a dime for the second touchdown of the day, keeping some momentum going. Unfortunately it was back to sputtering for the rest of the half. Between the play calling and some of the execution over the course, the Orange only had put up 20 in the first half, to Boston College’s 44. In general the offense moderately improved, and sustained a few drives. The line looked much better than it had, but getting down allowed BC to pin their ears back and put pressure on DeVito. There were ups and downs, but at least they were able to sustain a few drives and put some points on the board.
AJ Dillon is still better than Syracuse’s linebackers
The machine that is AJ Dillon ran for well over 100 yards prior the end of the first half even. For that matter, David Bailey did as well. Boston College was able to put up 336 yards on the ground, by halftime. The holes that these two were running through were quite apparent and left little chance to slow up the Eagles. With the defensive tackles getting manned up, a response is needed from the second level. When the linebackers aren’t able to avoid blocks or able to plug holes, you get very easy 70 yard touchdowns. Overall Syracuse gave up a school record 496 yards on the ground to the Eagles and a very good running back tandem.
This in no way absolves a secondary that gave up three passing touchdowns to a team notorious for not being able to pass. At least twice, corners were frozen on play action and let their marks get 20 yards behind them. Against a team running a relatively basic power offense with minimal trickery and misdirection outside of counter steps, most of the defense looked out of position for a good chunk of time.
Dino Babers has his work cut out for him in the bye week
What will it take to get this team turned around for the rest of the year? That’s a question I definitely don’t want to answer, but will be one that Coach Babers will need to, heading into the bye week. It’s unlikely that we see the team win three out of four and go bowling, but will we be able to see some marked improvements in the team.
One of the biggest things of note will be how the squad comes out against Duke on the road. What changes will be made? Will we see the linebackers shaken up? Will the next man up in the secondary get his shot? With just three (regular season) games left, those who still qualify under the new redshirt rule will be getting some run as well. As such, we’ll see how willing Dino and Co. are to getting some of the young guns some field time, and who is ready to go.
Your takeaways? Certainly you have some to add to the above.