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Syracuse football: first down offense vs Notre Dame

Establishing the run did not work

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange offense has been unable to really get on track the last two weeks. However if you took the first half against Clemson and combined it with the second half against Notre Dame, then you’d have something pretty decent.

Since we can’t do that yet, we can only look back and try to guess what can be fixed moving forward. Obviously throwing a pick-six on the first play isn’t a great start, but it wasn’t as though anything worked. After all the talk about the lack of Sean Tucker touches at Clemson, the Syracuse star was only able to get one good first-down carry and with Shrader’s running non-existent, the Orange were in trouble.

First down offense vs Notre Dame

Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Pass (Intercepted) 0 Run (Tucker) 2
Run (Tucker) 2 Pass (Tucker) 8
Run (Tucker) -4 Sack (Del Rio-Wilson) -3
Run (Tucker) 3 Run (Tucker) 2
Run (Tucker) -1 Pass (Alford) 23
Run (Tucker) 9 Pass (Adams) 30
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Tucker) 4 TD
Run (Shrader) 9 Run (Del Rio-Wilson) 7
Run (Tucker) 1 Pass (Intercepted) 0
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Tucker) 2
Run (Tucker) 0 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Tucker) 3
Pass (Hatcher) 15
Pass (Gadsden) 17
Pass (Incomplete) 0
Sack (Del Rio-Wilson) -7
1st Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 8 19 2.38
Pass 3 0 0
Total 11 19 1.73
2nd Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 5 7 1.4
Pass 11 96 8.73
Total 16 103 6.44
Game Total Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 13 26 2
Pass 14 96 6.86
Total 27 122 4.52

Things opened up a bit more in the second half especially on the 2nd touchdown drive of the game. Two Del Rio-Wilson deep throws led to Tucker strolling into the end zone and the game was back on. Unfortunately the next possession ended with Notre Dame’s second interception of the game.

With the quarterback position in flux this week, it’s hard to know what to expect. Pitt is likely to continue the trend of keying on Tucker so it might make sense to give Shrader another week to heal. The Orange could use Del Rio-Wilson’s ability to get out of the pocket to add another dimension to the offense, one that was lacking in the first half on Saturday with Shrader limited.

No matter who takes the snaps this weekend, Syracuse needs to continue to find new ways to get the ball to their playmakers in space. The offense needs some big plays to help take the pressure off the defense moving forward.