The Syracuse Orange got the blowout win that was needed desperately against the Holy Cross Crusaders, taking care of business 41-3. There were still a few things that will need attention in the bye week, but it looks to be a good start heading into a much needed rest.
Tommy DeVito and his receivers are still a work in progress
To start the game, the Orange looked fluid and drove the ball effectively, finishing with a nice toss to Aaron Hackett, confirming that tight ends are still a thing in Syracuse. A plethora of struggles for timing or positioning between DeVito and his first choice receivers, Taj Harris and Trishton Jackson, led to a bit of a frustrated passing game for a good chunk of the middle of the day. While the stat lines look fine, there were still a few zigs when people should have zagged that lead to incompletions.
At the same time, DeVito threw for 269 yards, going 19 of 31, and 4 touchdowns. There were some moments of brilliance from him, finding some quick reads on the outside and throwing a dart to Luke Benson for his touchdown in the third quarter. He also underthrew a good number of balls and there was likely breakdowns in communication between those receivers. It will be good to see what the bye week can do to work out some kinks.
Syracuse’s overall defense is looking improved
While not a ton can be taken from playing an FCS offense, the Syracuse defense was able to take care of business and hold the Crusaders to 138 total yards. The run defense held Holy Cross to an even more impressive -12 yards while the first string was in. They were able to get most second teamers in in early in the fourth and ride out the rest of the game, gaining experience and resting some bodies, which is needed, even going into the bye week.
The secondary which was able to deal with some injuries and got some time for Scoop Bradshaw at corner, who looked good in coverage. Young guns Drew Tuazama at DT and Juan Wallace and Mikel Jones at LB got a good bit of time and looked up to the task.
The offensive line still needs some work
While the offensive skilled positions looked like they needed some work, the offensive line also showed a bit of Jekyll and Hyde. They have been able to protect DeVito through most of the game and had some solid run blocking, but still have some trouble with their pulling guards and some pass protection.
The playbook was tightened compared to what could be shown and we’ll likely see that coming out of the bye week against NC State. It will be important to see how healthy we get coming out of the week and what sort of details can be worked out while the season is still ongoing.
Your takeaways? Certainly you have some to add to the above.