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Syracuse football’s first down offense vs. Boston College

One really good quarter and then...

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

All season long I’ve been tracking the woeful Syracuse Orange first-down offense. For one drive on Saturday it looked like the Orange might have finally gotten things on track. In the first quarter Syracuse picked up big chunk plays on their opening drive as they marched down the field to score their first first-quarter touchdown in ACC play.

It was a nice mix of runs and passes to five different players as the Orange took advantage of a Boston College Eagles defense which isn’t very good. The problem is that the Syracuse offense couldn’t keep up that success while the Syracuse defense couldn’t get off the field and suddenly the game was out of hand.

Syracuse vs Boston College

1st half Run or Pass Yards 2nd Half Run or Pass Yards
1st half Run or Pass Yards 2nd Half Run or Pass Yards
Run (Neal) 6 Pass (Howard) 9
Run (Jordan) 18 Run (Howard) -2
Pass (Harris) 12 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Riley) 35 Pass (Jackson) 7
Pass (Hackett) 9 (TD) Run (DeVito) 3
Run (Jordan) 3 Pass (Neal) -1
Run (Neal) 7 Run (DeVito) 9
Run (DeVito) 7 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run (DeVito) 3 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run (Adams) 12 Pass (Jackson) 11
Run (Adams) 3 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Culpepper) -6
Run (Howard) 1 Run (Howard) 12
Pass (Riley) -3 Run (Howard) 9
Run (Neal) 2
Pass (Jackson) 6
Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run 10 62 yards 6.2 yds per play Run 6
Pass 7 59 yards 8.43 yds per play Pass 8
17 121 yards 7.11 yds per play 14
Run 16 87 yards 5.44 yds per play
Pass 15 85 yards 5.67 yds per play
31 172 yards 5.55 yds per play

The way things went downhill in this game is certainly troubling. I don’t think you can place the blame on the offensive line for Saturday’s disappointment, but we again point out that Syracuse isn’t talented enough to overcome self-inflicted plays.

For the fourth game in a row an Orange receiver drops a potential touchdown pass. This time it was Sean Riley’s inability to pull in a 1st down pass from Tommy DeVito in a tie game. Syracuse would get a field goal on the drive (in part due to questionable first and goal play calling) but it’s another instance where the team isn’t coming up with plays at key moments.

We’ll see if another bye week will result in more changes the rest of the season. Syracuse put Jawhar Jordan in a position to make an early impact in this game so will he get more plays down the stretch? I thought Abdul Adams was effective on the one good drive in the second quarter then he was replaced on first and goal which didn’t make a lot of sense. We’ve yet to see much from SU wide receivers beyond the starters so that’s another area to watch when the Orange return to action in two weeks.

What would you like to see from the Syracuse offense over the final three games?