One thing’s for sure: this was the most frustrating Syracuse Orange football game of the 2023 season. It started that way when Garrett Shrader was ruled out an hour before kickoff, paving the way for Carlos Del Rio-Wilson to start. And it ended that way after what appeared to be a very painful right leg injury to CDRW - one of three on the offensive side - didn’t prevent him from coming back to throw a fourth pick and seal SU’s 5th-straight loss.
If Dino Babers wasn’t already hanging by a thread, he HAS to be after yet another disappointment.
Putting aside the situation regarding Shrader - and boy will there be more on that later - CDRW had an abysmal performance, going 7/17 for 34 yards and the 4 interceptions. Yet even after looking very suspect the entire time, AND very clearly getting hurt late, Del Rio-Wilson was trotted out with 2:18 to go in the game - and immediately hit the wrong-colored jersey a final time for good measure.
It didn't help that he was down two more of his offensive linemen - Jakob Bradford and Chris Bleich, who were both helped off at different points in the game - but much of the blame still falls at the sophomore's feet.
The game didn’t start off bad. BC’s first series went rush, rush, QB rush and picked up 11 yards for the 1st down. After that, Justin Barron and Anwar Sparrow both nearly had picks on back-to-back plays, but they nevertheless forced BC to punt.
SU’s first drive was also derailed early, as on his second pass of the game, Del Rio-Wilson threw his first pick. BC turned that into three points thanks to the arm of Thomas Castellanos, who hit all three of Lewis Bond, Dino Tomlin, and Jaden Williams for solid gains.
Ultimately, the Mob stood tall and kept BC out of the endzone on a goal-to-go scenario, and they settled for the chip shot field goal.
The next Orange drive was, dare I say it, impressive. LeQuint Allen found room on the outside for a 32-yard gain, going from SU’s own 35 to past the same spot on the other side. Carlos followed that up with his top play of the night, a 27-yard rushing TD.
CDRW takes it 27 yards to the house!— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 4, 2023
BC scored right before the end of the first half thanks to a two-yard touchdown pass to Owen McGowan. After a flurry of punts and stalled drives on both sides, SU managed to tie the game with a 36-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.
The defense did their job for the most part, staying on the field for nearly 43 minutes and forcing a pair of fumbles in the one-score loss. I know all the dropped interceptions are frustrating, but they are not the reason SU lost. No, they fought tooth and nail until finally failing to stop BC's final push.
What other way could this game have effectively ended than a drive to left by Castellanos?
Needing eight yards to find the endzone, he scrambled to the outside and stayed just inside the pylon while avoiding Gregory Delaine’s outstretched arms. It was a truly deflating moment for all the fans in attendance and the many more watching nationally on ESPN2.
Now 0-5 in ACC play this year, and 19-44 overall during his Syracuse tenure, I leave you all with one question: does Dino Babers really seem like the man to continue leading this program forward?
That’s a question John Wildhack and the rest of SU Athletics will have to ponder, and then answer to their donors in next week’s game at Yankee Stadium.