The Syracuse Orange lost a rough one at The Stadium this afternoon, falling to the Boston College Eagles, 16-13. The game was the starting debut for Jacobian Morgan, the true freshmen quarterback, taking snaps for Rex Culpepper, who was on the sideline in sweats. In a game where neither team wanted to put the ball in the end zone, the Orange couldn’t muster enough to take advantage of the defense holding the Eagles to 16 points on the day.
The ability to stop the run really needs to become a priority
Whether David Bailey or Travis Levy, the Eagles gave the Orange as much as could be handled on the ground. While it may not have been as egregious as the last few weeks the priority still remains. The duo was able to get it going on the ground and almost cracked the 200-yard mark against Syracuse.
The defense itself did a decent enough job with Hunter Long and Zay Flowers, limiting both in touches and trying to create favorable matches, even though Boston College was consciously trying to get Flowers over the top on the freshman safeties and out of the presence of Ifeatu Melifonwu and Garrett Williams. While Aman Greenwood was beat a few times over the top, when the Orange were able to keep the Boston College wideouts in front of them, the pass game was of minimal concern.
Jacobian Morgan looks like a reliable option at quarterback, but he’s still young
Through the day, Morgan looked good overall in his first start. He finished the day 19 of 30 for 188 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and generally was composed behind center. As the game wore on, and Boston College dialed up some new looks, the true freshman looked the part a bit, taking back to back bad sacks early in the fourth quarter and making a few questionable calls with the ball in his hands. He was able to work the slant routes to Anthony Queeley, as well as put touch on some plays along the sideline to Taj Harris. He even used his legs at the end of the game, rushing for a fifteen yard third down broken play, which probably could have been called a touchdown, then followed with a rollout tight end throwback for his second career touchdown.
The rest of the offense kept things moving around him, with Sean Tucker running for 54 yards of 11 attempts, keeping the ground game viable for Syracuse, even with a late unfortunate fumble that allowed the Eagles to put the dagger in on the Orange. Even with this, the Eagles pinned their ears back, sending pressure, resulting in four sacks, a number of which were overloads that Morgan wasn’t able to react to. The combination of players on performance on the field leaves a good bit of hope for the future for the Orange, but it wasn’t coming to fruition today.
Special Teams are extremely important teams
For the Orange, Andre Szmyt did what Andre Szmyt does and just makes field goals. He hit two on the day, a chipshot from 35 yards and a knuckle-puck from 45 yards, helping the Orange come through with some much-needed points on a stalled out offense.
The Syracuse defense did a great job holding the Eagles to field goals. Unfortunately for the home team, Aaron Boumehri did enough of his part for the Eagles, hitting a 33-yard attempt, a 34-yard attempt and a 22-yard attempt, but also missing two of his own. The last 22-yard attempt sealed it for the Eagles and put them two scores ahead with two minutes left to play.
Syracuse hasn’t really found success much in the way of special teams this season, but it’s always good to confirm that Andre Szmyt is here if we need him to be.