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Syracuse football: first down offense vs Pitt

Some big plays but no consistency

Syracuse v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange offense was mostly anemic on Saturday afternoon. Pitt’s defense held the Orange to total yards, but there were a couple of bright spots on 1st down throws.

For the game Carlos Del Rio-Wilson only threw for 120 yards. He had 106 of those yards on first down. Look, there’s not a lot to say positively about a game where you don’t score a touchdown but Syracuse was able to find some big plays when they threw it on first down.

First down offense vs Florida State

Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Run or Pass- 1H Yards Run or Pass- 2H Yards
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Tucker) 5
Run (Tucker) 4 Run (Tucker) 4
Run (Tucker) 5 Run (Tucker) 4
Run (Tucker) 16 Run (Tucker) 4
Run (Tucker) 1 Pass (Pena) 10
Run (Shrader) -2 Pass (Incomplete) 0
Pass (Tucker) -1 Run (Tucker) 7
Run (Shrader) 4 Sack (Shrader) -6
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Allen) 6
Pass (Incomplete) 0 Run (Allen) 11
Run (Del Rio-Wilson) 7
Run (Allen) 7
Run (Allen) 1
1st Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 6 28 4.67
Pass 4 -1 0
Total 10 27 2.7
2nd Half Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 10 56 5.6
Pass 3 4 0.75
Total 13 50 3.85
Game Total Plays Yards Avg yards per play
Run 16 84 5.25
Pass 7 3 0.43
Total 23 87 3.78

Two second-half plays stand out. On Syracuse’s first snap of the third quarter, Del Rio-Wilson found Oronde Gadsden II for 16 yards but a Wes Hoeh holding penalty wiped out the play. In the fourth quarter, Syracuse was gifted a two-yard punt by Pitt with the score 17-6. We all watched as Sean Tucker was met in the backfield by multiple defenders on first down and the Orange ended up not scoring on the possession.

The Syracuse coaches did a good job earlier this season of dialing up passes over the middle for Shrader. If Del Rio-Wilson gets another start, they need to look at what works best for him. Based on his high throws or tipped passes, it sure looks like he’d be better off getting out of the pocket and looking to use his strong arm to take some deep shots. It would also be a good idea to dial up more screens to stop the opposing pass rush from being able to collapse the pocket.

Bill Connelly- ESPN

For all the talk about Sean Tucker’s usage, look at that chart. 14 intended touches produced a total of 22 yards to more of that formula wasn’t a good idea last weekend. We know Syracuse needs to get Tucker and Gadsden touches and it’s up to the staff to find creative ways to get them into space like they were able to do earlier in the season. Florida State is going to score so the Orange need to find a way to get into the end zone on Saturday night.