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Syracuse football’s first down offense vs Clemson

Would you be shocked if we told you the 2nd half was bad?

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The change in offensive philosophy for the Syracuse Orange has made an impact on the running game. Despite the three-game losing streak Syracuse has found success on the ground, especially in the first half of games. That story played out when the Clemson Tigers came to town last Friday.

Led by Sean Tucker, the Orange were able to rack up 133 rushing yards on twelve first down attempts in the first half. That play shows the impact of Chris Elmore in the running game as he sets the edge and keeps the pursuit from cutting off Tucker before he’s gone. While the overall record is disappointing right now, the play of the offensive line in recent weeks has been a positive.

First Down Offense vs Virginia Tech

Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run (Tucker) 2 Run (Shrader) 3
Run (Tucker) 6 Run (Tucker) 0
Run (Tucker) 2 Pass (Queeley) 17
Run (Tucker) 7 Run (Shrader) 5
Run (Tucker) -1 Run (Tucker) 1
Run (Shrader) 2 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Cooper) 7 Run (Tucker) 3
Pass (Tucker) 1 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run (Shrader) 9 Run (Shrader) 0
Run (Shrader) 9 TD Run (Shrader) 5
Pass (Jackson) 18 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Jackson) 12 Run (Shrader) 3 TD
Run (Shrader) 23 Run (Tucker) 0
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Shrader) -3
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Pass (Jackson) 9
Run (Jackson) 12
Run (Tucker) -2
Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Tucker) 13
Pass (Alford) 45 TD
1st Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 9 59 6.55
Pass 6 38 6.33
Total 15 97 6.47
2nd Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 12 27 2.25
Pass 8 84 10.5
Total 20 111 5.55
Game Total Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 21 86 4.1
Pass 14 122 8.71
Total 35 208

Once again the passing game is faltering for Syracuse after halftime as teams load up on the running game. Syracuse has now gained 64 yards on first-down passes in the second half of the last four games. Look we’ve gone over all the reasons this team isn’t closing out games but the fact that the offense can’t hurt opponents when they are looking for the run is a factor. Some of this is on the quarterback, some of it is on the wide receivers and some of it is on the coaching staff. You have to make teams pay for loading up to slow down Sean Tucker.

I’ll keep saying it but the Orange can still get more from the offense and they will need it to get the final three wins needed for bowl eligibility. Now that they have faced the best defense the ACC has to offer we’ll see if Syracuse can find a way to move the ball for a full 60 minutes.