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Syracuse’s first down offense vs Boston College

A couple of big plays made the difference

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just say it from the beginning- the Syracuse Orange won the game and that’s what matters most. When the coaches and players watch the film they will find a lot to work on before the Louisville game.

Even without Chris Elmore and Carlos Vettorello the Orange stayed on the ground on Saturday only attempting three first down passes on the day. It was a curious strategy because Garrett Shrader connected on both of his throws on first down (the other pass play ended in a sack).

First down offense vs NC State

Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run (Shrader) 1 Run (Tucker) -1
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Tucker) 16
Run (Tucker) -3 Run (Tucker) 0
Run (Shrader) 6 Run (Shrader) 0
Run (Shrader) -4 Run (Tucker) -2
Run (Tucker) 10 Pass (Cooper) 11
Run (Tucker) 17 Run (Tucker) -1
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Shrader) 0
Run (Shrader) -1 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run (Tucker) 2 Run (Lutz) -3
Run (Shrader) 6
Run (Tucker) 55 TD
Run (Shrader) 1
Pass (Incomplete) 0
Run (Lutz) 0
1st Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 12 90 7.5
Pass 3 0 0
Total 15 90 6
2nd Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 8 9 1.13
Pass 2 11 5.5
Total 10 20 2
Game Total Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 20 99 4.95
Pass 5 11 2.2
Total 25 110 4.4

The silver lining for Syracuse is that they came out for the second half and found more success. Once again the man making the big play was Sean Tucker

When Syracuse’s scoring flurry put them up two scores the Orange were content to run the ball and the clock. This strategy put the Syracuse strength against BC’s defensive weakness. The numbers say it was successful and it was failures on third down which kept the Orange from doing more damage on offense. It’s odd seeing a team not even attempt a first-down pass in an entire half but that’s what the game dictated.

Hopefully the bye allows the Syracuse offense to get healthier as the final three games will be against tougher run defenses. This break could also allow Sterlin Gilbert to work on a couple of plays to counter the tendency to run so often on first down. There will be some opportunities to take advantage of the defense being so focused on the run.