If there was any time for the Syracuse Orange (3-6, 0-5) to show a sense of urgency to revive their postseason hopes, this past Saturday against the Boston College Eagles (5-4, 3-3) would have been it. That wasn’t in the cards for the Orange, as their Northeast rival came to the Carrier Dome and officially put SU’s season on life support by handing them their fourth consecutive loss and fifth overall in conference play.
Following what amounted to be an embarrassing defeat for the program, Dino Babers did not wait until the offseason to make changes for the 2020 campaign. With a final score of 58-27 and his defense giving up 691 yards, Defensive Coordinator Brian Ward was relieved of his duties 24 hours later.
1. (11:21 - 1st) 3rd & 6 at Syracuse’s 7-yard line: The woes for the SU defense began early against the Boston College Eagles. On their first possession of the afternoon, they managed to put together a 13 play drive which heavily featured their ground game of duo AJ Dillon and David Bailey. The Orange defense held the Eagles to a field goal after getting a stop on third down in their red zone.
2. (8:52 - 1st) 1st & 10 at Boston College’s 44-yard line: Syracuse has found themselves on the wrong side of questionable calls throughout ACC play, but for once, they made out on the other side. Tommy DeVito, trying to take what the Eagles defense gave him, chucked the ball to Sean Riley for a 35 yard completion following a QB keeper. The Orange would get on the board the following play with a DeVito pass to Aaron Hackett. This would be the first time that SU has lead a Power 5 team in the first quarter all season.
3. (6:25 - 1st) 2nd & 10 at Syracuse’s 29-yard line: Great offensive line play goes a long way and for an offense that is predicated on the ground game, it is imperative for Boston College to have any success. Parting the Syracuse defense like the red sea, David Bailey was able to find the end zone with a 29 yard run to put the Eagles back ahead.
4. (3:22 - 1st) 2nd & 8 at Boston College’s 31-yard line: Following a three and out on the Orange’s ensuing drive, BC went to the air after four consecutive plays on the ground. Andre Cisco’s strip from behind of Hunter Long was recovered by Evan Foster who may have brought it back for a touchdown if not for the heroics of Dennis Grosel. Syracuse would tie the game on a 47 yard field goal.
5. (1:42 - 1st) 1st & 15 at Boston College’s 20-yard line: Back-to-back possessions with a forced fumble. It looked like the Syracuse defense was finally coming into form against a Boston College team that had been struggling to find itself all year.
6. (0:35 - 1st) 3rd & 7 at Boston College’s 26-yard line: The opportunities have been few and far in between, but when he has time in the pocket, Tommy DeVito shows criticism is premature. The quarterback would find Trishton Jackson for his second passing touchdown of the afternoon to put the Orange up seven at the close of the first quarter.
7. (15:00 - 2nd) 1st & 10 at Boston College’s 36-yard line: The Eagles’ strength is in their running game and the Orange looked prepared to defend it with a blitz that brought in Evan Foster from the secondary. Addazio showed today that BC was more than smash mouth football as the play action pass fooled the Syracuse defense to the tune of a 64 yard touchdown pass to tie the contest.
8. (12:09 - 2nd) 3rd & 6 at Boston College’s 26-yard line: Putting together a lengthy drive of their own, the Orange were knocking on BC’s goal line following a reception of 24 yards by Aaron Hackett out of a flat route.
9. (10:13 - 2nd) 3rd & Goal at Boston College’s 6-yard line: Following a false start penalty, the Orange were pushed back out to the six yard line instead of a being on the one with the opportunity to go for it on fourth down if need be. Sending the receivers out to dupe the BC defense, Tommy DeVito may have found pay dirt had Dakota Davis been able to block T.J. Rayam. As has been the story all season in the red zone, the Orange would be forced to settle for three instead of coming away with six.
10. (7:38 - 2nd) 1st & 10 at 50-yard line: This isn’t a replay. Going back to the well, the Eagles ran the same exact play that they did to begin the second quarter, this time with the same result.
11. (5:39 - 2nd) 2nd & 10 at Syracuse’s 49-yard line: AJ Dillon rushed for 242 yards on 35 carries against the Orange on Saturday. With one burst through the hole, Dillon picked up 51 en route to his first of three touchdowns on the afternoon.
12. (3:59 - 2nd) 1st & 10 at Boston College’s 26-yard line: On their ensuing possession following an Orange three and out, Boston College didn’t waste any time extending their lead as the other half of their HB duo, David Bailey, chugged down field for his second score of the game.
13. (2:50 - 2nd) 3rd & 5 at Syracuse’s 30-yard line: Per ESPN, the Orange had entered the game with a streak of 242 plays without a turnover. That streak would be broken on a run where Tommy DeVito’s tendency to do too much appeared. In an attempt to extend the ball to the first down marker, the redshirt sophomore fumbled when made contact with to set BC up with great position. They would tack on another touchdown to go into the locker room up 44-20 at half time.
14. (14:57 - 1st) 2nd & 10 at Syracuse’s 25-yard line: For those remaining in attendance past the half, they got further incentive to rake their leaves and go apple picking as the Eagles iced the game courtesy of a tough AJ Dillon run where he dragged Orange defenders into the end zone with him. SU would score once more the next possession, but it was all for naught as Boston College would comfortably close out the game while not running up the point spread on Dino Babers’ squad.
The Orange don’t play until the weekend of the 16th as they’re on their second bye week of the season. It couldn’t have come at a better time as with the termination of Brian Ward and promotion of Steve Stanard, the defense will need the time to adjust to his game plan and philosophy as Syracuse tries to raise their bowl hopes from the dead. As Dino said in his post-game, “we’re going to find out something about ourselves.” We’ll see what that was when they head to Durham for a road contest against Duke.