Last Saturday was an unmitigated disaster for the Syracuse Orange football team, but one might be able to find a glimmer of hope in the passing game. Though quarterback Tommy DeVito struggled a bit early, and definitely appeared shaky at times, he did wind up completing 71% of his passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns — despite Maryland being fully aware that SU was going to throw from the second quarter on.
That doesn’t mean DeVito or the passing game lacks room to grow, however. The Daily Orange’s Andrew Graham discussed as much this week when talking to the redshirt sophomore quarterback and receiver Nykeim Johnson. Much of the conversation revolved around the communication issues that plagued the air attack in week one, and still seemed to hang around in week two.
There’s an idea here that DeVito doesn’t have the same connection with this group of wideouts that Dungey had with his (largely the same players). I guess I sort of buy it given the receiver absences due to injury this offseason, BUT DeVito’s been on campus for two seasons and this is now his third. He was working with the first team a bunch last year too. Seems hard to believe he really has that much worse of a rapport with these players than Dungey did.
We have already seen some signs things are turning around, however. DeVito’s quick touchdown pass to Trishton Jackson vs. Maryland was an absolute laser delivered in part by misdirecting the defense with his eyes. He’ll develop more touch over time. The ability to fool defenses, though, is probably a step ahead of where Dungey was, though.
Clemson may not be the best gauge of where exactly this group is on the development scale. But after the Tigers, SU has a couple more games to work out some more of the kinks before the ACC slate starts in earnest.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
DeVito and his wide receivers struggle to overcome the disruption of timing and spacing is at the crux of Syracuse’s problems. “It’s different when a live defense is out there because the pictures change, defense reacts different ways,” DeVito said. “So it’s better to go against a live defense that doesn’t know what’s coming, as opposed to our defense that’s kind of used to seeing the stuff all camp.”
How has Syracuse played Clemson so well the last few years and can it happen Saturday? (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Syracuse. They beat us two years ago and then last year had us on the mat for a two count,” Dabo Swinney said at his weekly press conference. “We were able to get up and find a way to win the game. I have a lot of respect for Syracuse. Dino has done a great job up there.” As Syracuse prepares for Saturday’s primetime matchup at 7:30 p.m., the question those around the country have is just how have the Orange been able to find success against the Tigers?
On Tuesday afternoon, Sean reflected on his dad as he sat in his home office. He cried after he reread the tribute he penned to him in The Boston Globe after his death. “Dad,” Sean wrote, “Thank you for always making me the luckiest and proudest son who ever lived.” His eyes wet, Sean glanced at photographs of his dad and the two of them together. Then he saw a photo of his father punting a football, with a note.
Fall ball might just be getting underway now, but Dordevic’s enthusiasm and extra work has put him in midseason form when it comes to sweat and drills. “I’m probably the most excited I’ve been for something in a long time. Lacrosse is like my favorite thing in the world,” he said earlier this week. “So sitting out for a whole year, not being able to do what I love most was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.”
An in-depth look at the Syracuse defense (Shakin the Southland)
It isn’t the pass defense which is the main problem going into the Clemson game though, it’s the linebacker run fits. Inexperience reared its ugly head and Maryland found even more ease on the ground against out-of-position linebackers, which had the aforementioned domino effect on the safeties.