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Syracuse football’s first down offense vs Pitt

The last game highlights why an OC change followed

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Credit to the Syracuse Orange for finally breaking out of the passing game woes they had been stuck in all November. The passing game found some early success against the Pitt Panthers who sold out to stop Sean Tucker and the Syracuse running game. Garrett Shrader and Courtney Jackson found something which worked and you hope that can be built upon next season.

Syracuse opened the game by trying to get Tucker involved on 1st and 10. He got touches on 9 of the first 10 first-down plays but the Panthers were clearly looking for that. Success on 2nd and 3rd down on the first drive kept the ball moving at the start but it’s hard for a team with a limited passing game to keep doing that against a quality opponent.

First down offense vs Pitt

Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run (Tucker) 5 Run (Tucker) -1
Run (Tucker) 4 Pass (Jackson) 19
Run (Tucker) 3 Pass (Cooper) 4
Run (Tucker) -2 Pass (Queeley) 30
Run (Tucker) -2 Run (Shrader) -3
Run (Tucker) 10 Run (Shrader) 2
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Pass (Jackson) 8
Run (Tucker) 7 Pass (Cooper) 30
Run (Tucker) -2 Run (Tucker) 6
Run (Tucker) -2
Run (Shrader) 5
Run (Shrader) 2
Run (Tucker) 0
Kneeldown -2
1st Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 13 28 2.2
Pass 1 0 0
Total 14 28 2
2nd Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 4 4 1
Pass 5 91 18.2
Total 9 95 10.6
Game Total Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 17 32 1.9
Pass 6 91 15.2
Total 23 123 5.3

Playing from behind in the second half meant more throws and the Orange were again able to move the ball through the air. They weren’t able to string together too many first downs as we saw the usual self-inflicted wounds crop up in this one.

Next week I’ll take a look at the season stats and see how the next Syracuse offensive coordinator can build on what did work in 2021.