It was a genuine fight in the Dome between the Syracuse Orange and Clemson Tigers. However, the Tigers pulled away in the second half for a 41-6 win. There are a lot of points to be made, but here are the three biggest takeaways:
DeVito looked better, but his linemen did him no favors
The redshirt sophomore looked more in command against the Tigers. He seemed more aware of his surroundings and was careful not to force bad throws that were common against Liberty and Maryland (although that interception...). He could have even done better than his 15-for-27 line on the night because there were several perfect passes that were dropped.
What also could have helped DeVito would be not playing the entire game under constant duress. He hardly ever had time to look beyond his first read and had to move often due to a frequently collapsing pocket. Left tackle Carlos Vettorello got beat up the most, but graduate transfer Ryan Alexander had his problems on the right side too. It’ll be tough for DeVito to truly break out if the issues up front don’t get mended.
Missed opportunities took the Orange out of it
Taj Harris let a ball sail right through his hands on 3rd down during Cuse’s first possession. Trishton Jackson whiffed on a deep ball to the end zone. The Orange twice failed to score in the red zone. These are all examples of opportunities which SU blew that could’ve made the game tighter had they gone differently. It’s hard to take out the top team in the country when you’re constantly shooting yourself in the foot. Penalties (9 for 85 yards) paleyd a major part as well, as you well know by this point.
SOME redemption for the defense
Simply put, today proved the defense is not as bad as the 63 points scored by Maryland last week would indicate. The D-line was disruptive throughout and the whole defensive unit limited one of the country’s best offenses to just 34 points. That said, the linebacker play was dreadful at times. Clemson players had no problem shedding tacklers due to bad angles, bad form or, at times, players trying too hard to strip the football. Most SU fans who know the team well are likely to not be surprised by this, but the Orange defense won’t reach its full potential until the linebacker corps are up to snuff.
Your takeaways? Certainly you have some to add to the above.